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  • English Prepositions and the Worlds Largest Graffiti Tag

    The correct use of the English prepositions “on,” “at” and “in” can be difficult to remember. With this lesson, we’re going to look at it with an interesting story about a piece of interesting graffiti. First here’s a little grammar to help you out.

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    Below, you’ll find “on,” at” and “in” highlighted when used as prepositions.

    If you go to New York City and see what is probably the worlds largest work of graffiti, you probably wouldn’t think much of it. In fact, you’d most likely think it was quite small.

    It is, from one perspective, not much wider than a line a pencil might make. Just a thin orange line on the streets and sidewalks of New York City that starts at the edge of a West Side pier and ends after crossing a footbridge at Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.

    But if you were to follow this line around the city, and trace it on a map, you’d find that it spells “Momo,” the name of a prominent New York City graffiti artist.

    How Momo's tag looks on a map.

    Below you’ll find a description of this graffiti tag as it appeared in an article by the New York Times.

    The project was inspired by a series of purple footprints that were painted on Manhattan sidewalks in 1986, stretching from the Upper East Side to Foley Square. Those mysterious markings led to a spot on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side, where the city had bulldozed an elaborate community garden called the Garden of Eden that was created by a squatter named Adam Purple. Momo said he glimpsed the footprints as a child and was captivated.

    “It was a really ephemeral, strange sight,” he said. “And it felt like those footprints created a path that was all mine.”

    Years later he experimented for months with a way to make his own paint trail and eventually lashed a homemade funnel-shaped bucket to the back of a bicycle. He fitted the bucket with a hose that was controlled by a ball valve of the sort used in swimming pool plumbing systems. The line was created with 15 gallons of paint dispensed over the course of two covert sorties, Momo said, carried out between 3 and 6 in the morning.

    “Everyone was oblivious except for one guy who chased me,” he said. “But I think he was trying to be helpful, believing I was heading to a job site and had a legitimate leak.”

    In many neighborhoods the paint is still easy to see. Sometimes the line runs on concrete sidewalks, as it does along Stanton Street or Broadway. At other times it runs on macadam roadways, as it does on Seventh Avenue South, where the tires of countless cars have nearly erased it. In certain areas — along Prince Street, for instance — the line can no longer be seen at all, scrubbed away, maybe, or lost when sections of sidewalk were replaced.

    Momo made this giant graffiti tag using his bicycle, and a funnel that he set up to continuously drip paint as he rode. He made the tag in two early-morning bike rides. Below you’ll find a short video made by the artist that shows his graffiti tag.

    Thanks for reading! Contact us if you have questions or are interested in English classes.

    • Eli

      I’m sure I’ve seen some of the NYC art.