Street Skull Art in New York.

Street Skull Art in New York.

Above Photo: One of the many skull depictions on Crosby Street, New York.

In my Backpacker-Vietnam War crossover novel BACK, I use Crosby Street in New York as a location for an apartment occupied by NYU students. These students set off on an ill-fated trek through the Laotian jungle to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, looking for something left behind from the Vietnam War.

This building, on the corner of Crosby and Broome, gets a mention in BACK.

This building, on the corner of Crosby and Broome, gets a mention in BACK.

I picked Crosby Street for two reasons – firstly its location is perfect for the students in the novel, but secondly, I also chose it for personal reasons, because I come from a place called Crosby in Liverpool, England.

One of the many great buildings on Crosby Street.

One of the many great buildings on Crosby Street.

So when I was in New York recently I decided to spend some time on Crosby Street, and was interested to see how much BACK-related graffiti and street art there was around the place.

The covers to BACK Parts 1 and 2.

The covers to BACK Parts 1 and 2.

The covers of BACK Parts 1 and 2 show a skull (the same skull in fact), dressed up as a soldier in Part 1 and as a dope smoking modern-day traveller in Part 2, and I was amused to see a few depictions of skulls as I walked along Crosby for a couple of hours with my camera.

A skull genie.

A skull genie.

Most of the art on the street consisted of faces and skulls.

Skulls AND snakes - two themes in BACK.

Skulls AND snakes – two themes in BACK.

I have illustrated this article with my favourite images from the walls and fliers of Crosby Street.

BACK novel peter alan lloyd crosby street new york NYU students new york university backpackers in danger laos vietnam war ho chi minh t (2)(1)

There was also some more formal face art on the side of one of the commercial premises on Crosby:

I like the texture of the old brick, as well as the old ironwork decoration above.

I like the texture of the old brick, as well as the old ironwork decoration above.

I refer to the original Belgian blocks (cobblestones to Brit readers) on Crosby Street in the book, and I attracted a few quizzical stares as I got down to take some low level shots when the street was free of traffic.

Original cobble stones on Crosby Street.

Original cobblestones (Belgian blocks) on Crosby Street.

I also saw some of the buildings I had used as the location for the students’ apartment.

Shadows thrown by fire escapes in the mid-afternoon sun.

Shadows thrown by fire escapes in the mid-afternoon sun.

I referred to two real life restaurants in the book. One of them, Balthazar, is now underneath a building that is being seriously refurbished.

Balthazar - gets a mention in BACK.

Balthazar – gets a mention in BACK.

I saw some quite specific art relevant to the plot of the book, for example these three photos:

A reference to the Military-Industrial Complex many blame for the Vietnam War.

A reference to the Military-Industrial Complex many blame for the Vietnam War.

This is relevant because many who went into the jungle didn't come out again, both in the Vietnam War and in the modern-day story in BACK.

This is relevant because many who went into the jungle didn’t come out again, both in the Vietnam War and in the modern-day story in BACK.

Shades of a literally fleshed-out BACK Part 2 cover, with spliff. The search for drugs leads to all the problems in BACK Part 2.

Shades of a literally fleshed-out BACK Part 2 cover, with spliff. The search for drugs leads to all the problems in BACK Part 2.

For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War, POWs/MIAs and Adventure Backpackers trekking into the war-ravaged jungles of Asia, see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/

For POWs and MIAs left behind in Laos, see:

See also Bordellos on Crosby Street: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-1/take-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-bordellos-in-crosby-street-new-york/

And BACK Locations: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-1/back-locations-crosby-street-new-york/

 

© Peter Alan Lloyd

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

 

 

 

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