Third Street’s “Art Alley” opens to Admiration, Acclaim, Assault

 It says, "Niagara Falls, New York" in case you were wondering.

It says, “Niagara Falls, New York” in case you were wondering.

“This will be a perfect backdrop for tourists, as well as wedding parties,” said Seth Piccirillo, Director of Niagara Falls Community Development, “We want people to come in here and take pictures.”

We decided to take Mr. Piccirillo up on his kind suggestion and, as you can see on these pages, we snapped some photos of the “public art” masterpieces now gracing an alley off Third Street in the city’s tourism district. And as far as wedding pictures, who wouldn’t want to pose with their beautiful bride and her attendants in front of any one of these fine urban streetscape compositions?

Disclaimer: "Lil Raw, Lil Real, Lots of Love" is not the mission statement of the local streetwalkers' guild.

Disclaimer: “Lil Raw, Lil Real, Lots of Love” is not the mission statement of the local streetwalkers’ guild.

“(T)he goal is to make public art something Niagara Falls is known for and also make people walk into the city to find public art,” Piccirillo told the Buffalo News.

That’s great advice, we think. What tourists, after having parked in Niagara Falls State Park, gone on Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds, purchased gifts and souvenirs on Goat Island and filled their bellies with Delaware North hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and cokes, wouldn’t want to walk the three or four blocks to Third Street’s Art Alley to take in Niagara Falls’ equivalent of the Sistine Chapel?

Walking down Third Street, this is what you see as you come upon the entrance to Art Alley. The perfect welcome for the multicultural millions who visit Niagara Falls every year and enjoy a good scare by demons!

Walking down Third Street, this is what you see as you come upon the entrance to Art Alley. The perfect welcome for the multicultural millions who visit Niagara Falls every year and enjoy a good scare by demons!

Just to show how seriously some people take their culture, though, last week a self-appointed art critic, having imbibed deeply of fine liqueurs at a fashionable Third Street cocktail lounge and being inspired by the new outdoor art showplace, endeavored to engage himself in a bit of impromptu performance art, which he is rumored to have spontaneously entitled, “Give me your f***ing camera or I’ll bust your f***ing head open.”

Tourists on the scene laughed uproariously as the mime pretended repeatedly to draw an invisible firearm out of his waistband and play-tussled with visiting art critics from a local TV station before, adding a touch of realism that fooled onlookers, he was subdued and taken away by the local gendarmes.

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment,” said French impressionist Claude Monet. If he lived here in Niagara Falls, he’d have to settle for one out of three.

A city Department of Public Works truck parked near the Fourth Street entrance keeps an eye on things.

A city Department of Public Works truck parked near the Fourth Street entrance keeps an eye on things.


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