Oy Manhattan! Yo Brooklyn!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Live in a city long enough and its particular way of speaking starts to color your own. I have lived in New York for close to a decade now and it's certainly become that way for me. I never developed an American twang because of the city's multicultural nature — why adjust your accent when so many of the people you'll encounter from the fruit stand vendor to your colleagues to your bodega guy are likely foreign, too? Nevertheless, New Yorkisms have wandered into my daily lingo, whether it's to call someone's attention with a "Yo" or to say "Oy vey" in a moment of exasperation. Artist Deborah Kass captures these aforementioned New Yorkisms with her newly installed "OY/YO" sculpture at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Seen from the Brooklyn side, the bright yellow letters bid Manhattan "Oy"; from the Manhattan side, the sculpture throws up an appropriate "Yo" to Brooklyn. Kass's sculpture will greet both sides of the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park until August 2016, so do come by and say hola!

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