DIY wallpaper to the rescue

 

Living not far from New York City's Chinatown - we've come to embrace its Blade Runner aesthetic. For years we've dodged in and out of market stalls selling raw fresh fish,  sweet-bean-paste buns, steamed  dumplings, and exotic fruits like durians and mangosteens.

Some of our favorite spots are Dim Sum Go Go for vegetarian dumplings,  Pongsri for its coconut rice, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for almond ice-cream, and the little café next door for its iced-lychee drinks (and walls papered with dollar bills). 

We've slowly domesticated our live/work loft near Chinatown - embracing the tools and the aesthetic of local restaurants. Most recently we coped with the upstairs neighbors' leaky hot water heater by wallpapering the kitchen wall with Chinese newspapers. 

We tried both mixing our own wheatpaste (wheat flour, water, vinegar) and using a low-odor, commercial wallpaper paste (preferring the latter because it didn't yellow). We simply brushed on the paste with a wallpaper brush, tacked on our newsprint, and brushed another layer of paint on top. Once it dried, we appled a second coat. The commercial paste promises it is easily removed with a little steam though we can't imagine removing it. In fact we intend to layer it with more found and homemade pieces of art as an ode to the lost graffiti mecca, The Chocolate Factory, up the block. Of course,  Banksy has an open invitation to add his own flourish.

 

jane beck

rayogram, 305 West Broadway Suite 275, New York, NY 10013

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