43rd Avenue, 43rd Street
Feb. 23, By Christian Murray
A graffiti vandal has been targeting the walls of Sunnyside spraying his tag SBR all over stores on 42nd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street.
The police are following up on it; Sunnyside Shines has been struggling to clean it; and Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has been brought into the loop.
The likely perpetrator of these tags goes under fictitious Facebook handle Esayebeare Bereal, where he showcases some of his work. Despite his false name, he has many friends who follow his posts.
The owner of an establishment on 43rd Street described the graffiti as “childish and ridiculous.”
“I don’t know what people get out of it? Some sort of high,” he said, without giving his name out of concern that his store might get tagged next. “I don’t know whether writing an article about him will encourage him, stop him or even help lead to his arrest,” the owner said.
Esayebeare Bereal engaged in a Facebook chat with the Sunnyside Post last week (see full transcript below), where he admitted to doing it and said he does it to be famous. He said that he was raised in Sunnyside and admitted to tagging under the name SBR, which is not affiliated with a street gang or group. He was not prepared to be interviewed over the phone out of fear that he would get “locked up.”
He targets 42nd and 43rd Street, he said, since he knows people who live there.
However, in the messages, he said that he is thinking about easing up on 43rd Street.
“I’m done with 43rd street to many yuppies complaining about sunnyside. But they wasn”t here when it was a bad neighorhood.”
However, his work has annoyed many, including Sunnyside Shines.
“It is frustrating that one individual is so intent on destroying small business property in our neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, the director of Sunnyside Shines.
“We’re very much aware of the graffiti situation in Sunnyside right now, and are coordinating closely with Council Member Van Bramer’s office and the 108th Precinct, as well as our graffiti removal vendor to ensure graffiti is removed as soon as possible.”
The freezing weather, however, has slowed down efforts to clean up the graffiti, Thieme said.
Nevertheless, when Sunnyside Shines was able to clean off the graffiti outside Café Bene (42nd and Queens Blvd) recently, Esayebeare Bereal struck back again days later.
Esayebeare Bereal argues that he is capable of doing quality artwork but is fearful of getting caught by the police and said that paint is expensive.
Most don’t appreciate his graffiti in any form– viewing it as nothing more than vandalism.
Transcript of Facebook chat by sunnysidepost
43rd Street and Queens Boulevard. Former Dime Bank
43rd and Queens Blvd (former Dime Bank)
Sunnyside Shines cleaned his tag and then shortly after it reappeared (42nd Queens Blvd)
42nd Street (near Queens Blvd)
43rd Street and 43rd Avenue
Barnett Ave., 43rd Street
44th Street (by Queens Blvd)
43rd (near Skillman Ave.)
43rd Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Street)