The national and international news headlines this summer have been pretty grim. The Michael Brown shooting in Missouri, the Staten Island police brutality controversy and the war in Gaza are just some of the events weighing heavily on many people. Gary Weingarten, co-owner of Lower East Side bar Verlaine, decided to make a statement about what’s happening on the roll-down great outside his 13-year old Rivington Street establishment.
Yesterday, graffiti artist Israel Garcia of Hip Hop USA went to work on the project. The mural, which was completed in a few hours, features Nelson Mandela’s image, surrounded by lychee vines, and a quote from his 1995 book, “Long Walk to Freedom.” The excerpt reads:
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love…
Verlaine, known for its lychee martini, is located at 110 Rivington St., right next door to Economy Candy.