You got to love Mayor Bill de Blasio’s profound love for symbolism.
The thought came to mind this week when the mayor put his stamp of approval on the Fearless Girl statue facing down the Bull of Wall Street statue in Lower Manhattan.
“I’ve been profoundly struck by what this statue means in particular to women, and to girls in this city, and this whole country. But I think there’s an even broader symbolism of standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right. I think this beautiful statue stands for all of those ideas and those values,” said a beaming mayor before posing with Fearless Girl.
With the mayor’s words for inspiration, here’s some other profoundly symbolic statues we’d love to see placed around the City.
Obstinate Homeless Man – This statue of a scowling homeless man sitting on a piece of cardboard with a beggars’ cup in front of him would be placed right outside the subway entrance on the corner of 9th Street and 7th Avenue in Park Slope.
The installation would profoundly symbolize the plight of the homeless, and how upscale neighborhoods like Park Slope should equally share social burdens of the economically displaced in citing some of the 90 homeless shelters around the city that de Blasio is planning. It will remain in place until Park Slope gets one of these shelters – particularly a shelter that houses homeless men with substance abuse issues.
Library Kids – This two-installation piece would feature three school-aged kids with backpacks on and tears in their eyes. One of the pieces would be placed in front of the Cadman Plaza Branch Library in Brooklyn Heights, and the other in front of the Sunset Park branch library in Sunset Park.
The visual of these kids staring down the wrecking ball as one large developer rips down the Cadman Branch, and one of the mayor’s favorite nonprofits destroys the other would be profoundly stirring. The symbolism of kids crying as public asset properties are being sold off to private developers would send a profound message of the innocent speaking truth to power.
Urban Hipster – This classic Greek-style statue of a twenty-something white man dressed in denim pants, a tweed jacket and a bow tie would capture the pioneering spirit of the urban hipster, fearlessly sacrificing life and limb, to say nothing of their parents bank accounts, to move into and change the complexion of traditional working and lower-income neighborhoods.
The statue would be strategically placed in the center of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Restoration Plaza. Viewers would be profoundly moved by the symbolism of how Restoration Plaza, created as a federal commitment to urban renewal by U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy in the 1960s, could easily house a micro-brewery, a French bistro and a vintage clothing shop.
Marginal White Man – This replication of a 50-something out of work college-educated white man would be placed outside the cast iron fence of City Hall looking in.
This statue would be profoundly symbolic of the plight of working white men recently laid off or forced to take buyouts, and who are not part of the mayor’s progressive identity politics movement. The placement would be profoundly symbolic of the de Blasio patronage machine hiring hundreds, if not thousands of well-connected single young millennials and giving them city jobs with middle five to low six-figure incomes complete with benefits.
Parental Choice Family – These multi installation statues would realistically replicate young black parents with school-aged children standing together. They would be placed in front of a number of the mayor’s “Renewal Schools” as well as in front of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) office.
They would profoundly symbolize the plight of parents in low-income neighborhoods who are forced to send their kids to failing public schools while de Blasio and the UFT work overtime in trying to stem the growth of charter schools. The knitted eyebrow expression on the parents’ faces would symbolize their worry in sending their kids to failing schools.