MOSA Bowery: From 5POINTZ in Queens to a 21-storey stairwell in Manhattan!

MOSA Bowery: From 5POINTZ in Queens to a 21-storey stairwell in Manhattan!

16 February 2021 0 By Séverine

If I tell you that it was by pure chance that I discovered the Museum of Street Art, called MOSA Bowery, well hidden in Manhattan, you wouldn’t believe me! And yet it’s the truth… I was thinking of going up to a building to be able to see Shepard Fairey’s new work on a water tank perched on a roof ! This quest took me in front of the CitizenM hotel on Bowery… Its entirely graffitied wall at the entrance had caught my eye!

Mosa Bowery - CitizenM Hotel NYC - Graffiti Meres One

Fresque Murale réalisée par MERES ONE – MOSA Bowery – Photo @Altinnov


In New York, when you say new hotel, you say bar with a view! And of course this hotel is no exception… Here is the view I had on Obey’s work sitting quietly at a table !


Shepard Fairey - Obey Giant- Power and Equality Tower NYC

Power & Equality Tower – Shepard Fairey alias Obey – Photo @Altinnov


It was while visiting the bar, and especially the toilets which have crazy views of East Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, that I spotted a MOSA sticker above the fire escape door! I immediately understood that my steps had led me to this museum, which is not really more than a simple museum; since it is free and it’s actually a stairwell! Suddenly in a frenzy, I opened the door and found myself at the top of this vertiginous stairwell, more than colourful.

The MOSA Bowery: a beautiful tribute to the Queens graffiti writers’

What this singular place offers has nothing to do with classical museum… It’s an original and totally immersive experience. A plunge into the world of the iconic 5POINTZ in Queens, which disappeared under the tractors of property developers in 2014.


This Museum of Street Art is presented as a vertical love letter to the Bowery and Lower East Side of Manhattan. It is above all a magnificent tribute to 5POINTZ created by 20 artists who have in the past signed their names to this mythical place founded by MERES ONE. A letter that nevertheless took more than two years to be orchestrated by the French curator, Marie Cécile Flageul, a figure of urban and contemporary culture in New York.

MOSA Bowery - CitizenM Hotel - A vertical love letter to Bowery

MOSA BOWERY – A vertical love letter to Bowery – Photo @Altinnov

The funny light bulb head of Meres One accompanies us on the way down!

If you follow the blog you already know that I have a little crush for this light bulb head 😉 It will accompany us all the way down! A downhill where we don’t know where to put our heads, there are so many artworks! But it seemed to me that starting with Meres One, at the origin of 5POINTZ was the minimum of delicacy I could have 😉


Portraits, landscapes, graffiti,… An artistic abundance to make your head spin!

Some of the works jump out at you, such as this tribute to the famous Drag Queen RuPaul by ELLE, which reminds me today of the magnificent tribute portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsberg that she painted in the East Village!

Portrait de la draqueen RuPaul réalisé par Elle Street Art au Mosa Bowery de New-York

RuPaul par ELLE – MOSA Bowery – Photo @Altinnov


Or the Fun Gallery, a tribute to Patty Astor who was the first gallery owner in 1981 to offer graffiti its place in contemporary art. More than a wink, the artist SEE tf transforms this gallery into a tribute to the pioneers of urban art and graffiti such as Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, Futura 2000, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring,…


We go down the floors as if we were in a montage with a leitmotif: Graffiti follows the portraits, the recognisable 3D stylistics of the French artist Djalouz, then the faces of the “Bowery Boys” by Topaz which remind us astonishingly of the film Gangs of New-York whose story took place in the Five Points district. Or a magnificent portrait of Lou Reed who lived on the Lower East Side for many years.

Graffitis lettres en 3D par le street artist Djalouz

DJALOUZ – MOSA Bowery – Photo @Altinnov

Portrait de Lou Reed par TRANS1 au Mosa Bowery de New York

Lou Reed par TRANS1 – MOSA Bowery – Photo @Altinnov


It is more than difficult to show you all the works, and even more difficult to transcribe the atmosphere inside the MOSA. I have therefore made a selection of photos that will give you a more precise idea of what you could discover in the MOSA Bowery’s lair; views, graffiti, funny characters, engaged messages,…


Is the MOSA Bowery worth a visit?

Honestly if you go to see Street Art around the Bowery area; it would be a huge mistake to miss this unique place. The 5POINTZ in Queens no longer exists, it’s a great opportunity to feel the vibe, the inspiration of the artists and to discover part of the history that propelled New York to the TOP of the must-see cities for those who love graffiti and urban art…

And if you’re going to New York as a tourist, you’ll certainly want to take a step up to discover the city from above… The bar of the CitizenM hotel where the Mosa is located is a great spot; you just have to go down the stairs instead of taking the lift 😉 I am sure that with the diversity of the works, you will love some of them whatever your artistic taste is.

At the moment, because of the coronavirus, the MOSA Bowery is reserved for hotel guests, but don’t worry, that will change soon! In the meantime you can discover the gallery of the artists who participated in making this stairwell unique on their site. And icing on the cake via the Smartify cultural app available on iOS & Androïd, you have access to the audio guide (type Museum of Street Art in the search bar) which gives you lots of little explanations on the works to be seen. Moreover, the lucky ones who will have the opportunity to visit the MOSA when it reopens will have the chance to get some great Bose headphones customised by Meres One!

These audio recordings bring to light lots of small details & subtlety. We learn, for example, that the MOSA logo made by Meres One is a tribute to the LOVE work of contemporary artist Robert Indiana.

You can well imagine that it is with a heavy heart that I am finishing this article since I have not returned to this magical city that is New York since the beginning of the pandemic… And I must confess; I loved to share with you all my Street Art discoveries around and in the heart of Manhattan! While we are waiting for us to travel around the world, I invite you to discover all that New York has to offer from Street Art in virtual thanks to all these articles that I have lovingly concocted for you during my travels :

As for me, I’m going to put my super sneakers back on very quickly to offer you a new Street Art adventure “Made in France”!

See you soon 😉


Séverine Thery fondatrice du blog de Street Art Altinnov

Un peu claustrophobe j’ai survécu au MOSA ! À vous de dévaler ces 21 étages !