These are tiny, self-contained, permanent markings on walls and buildings meant to commemorate a particular place and time. Graffiti tags date back as far as the late 1970s, but are relatively new in a sense. In fact, when I was a kid it was a bit surprising to see people tagging walls. You’d never see people holding a flag by their front door. That was just the way it was. It was a good thing that those tags became so popular so that we didn’t get those scrawlings on our walls anymore.
Why should I care? People do it because they believe they’re doing something meaningful to a place. What they really want to do is find out where everyone’s sitting at a particular time. It’s also possible to paint a tag on a wall of a bank or bus stop and take the opportunity to tell your tale. I could spend all night writing on a wall at one of those places (or, if you’re adventurous, I guess I could go to the library on a Friday night and read a bunch of books and draw an interesting picture on the wall), but I think it’s fun to do something different.
You can paint a tag on this wall, and it’s free, so why not try it? If you haven’t been to the Brooklyn Museum’s tag room before, this is a fun and easy way to learn it before you put it on a wall. If you’re not into tagging yourself, or want to learn without the need to buy any equipment, the tag room is free (donate here if it’s not). It’s also easy to navigate and take pictures from there – not a whole lot of stairs.
How do people find the tag room? Many people who haven’t had the opportunity to tag themselves may come up to me and ask questions (sometimes while riding the elevator up to the tag room – that’s not uncommon), and then try to learn the basics of tags yourself. The tag room is easily accessed from the museum at 16th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue (but it’s also accessed from the entrance on 4th Avenue in lower Manhattan; you just need to enter the building), so you just pass through a window on the 2nd floor if you’re interested in going there.
The tag room was created by the museum for people who want to have fun tagging as little things as possible on the walls of NYC’s most iconic monuments and buildings. It’s also a perfect time to share tags with others because
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