Around the Neighborhood
The best part about this project, though—aside from the dope ass content, of course—is that 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Henry Street Settlement, a community outreach agency that has provided social services, art and health care programs to over 50,000 New Yorkers for the past 125 years.
office had the pleasure of catching up with Nico in the wake of his video premiere and ask him about some of his favorite people in his favorite city.
Give me a little background information on your event this weekend—what was your inspiration?
Walltime reached out to me a couple months back to create content for their new app, which allows users to project their content on walls across NYC starting with Bowery and Houston. I immediately had the idea to make slice-of-life vignettes with some of the legendary people in places that make up the surrounding neighborhood.
Alex from Walltime had mentioned there is a function built into the app that allows the fee from bookings to go directly to charity, so I suggested we team up with a neighborhood charity. I have heard great things about the Henry Street Settlement through my research, so it only seemed right to team up with them!
What drew you to the people, places, and things you chose to capture? What about them makes them feel distinctly ‘New York’?
I was born and raised in Union Square, which is not too far from the wall. After doing a short stint in Los Angeles in 2013, I returned to NYC with a much greater appreciation for the city, especially the people and places that seemingly couldn’t exist anywhere else. I started my New York Nico Instagram account a few years ago, and have been just documenting street life since.
What makes the Henry Street Settlement special? Why that organization over all the other outreach programs in the city?
I try to use my Instagram platform to help others however I can. I have teamed up with many great charities in the past such as NYLAG, Grand St. Settlement, Urban Pathways, etc. Henry Street just seemed like the right fit for this project since they do such a great service for the people in the neighborhood.
What was the most fun aspect of this project for you?
The screening was amazing. Being able to see the happy faces of those featured in the film was awesome. Larry the Birdman was freaking out when he saw himself 65 feet tall.
How does your identity as a New Yorker inform your process of creation?
It’s literally where all of my inspiration comes from—NY works its way into everything I do, whether I know it or not.
You can see 'Neighborhood' above the Bowery Mural any time by scheduling a showing and donating to the Henry Street Settlement on the Walltime NYC app.