Volume 74, Number 33 | December 22 - 28, 2004

Villager photo by Bob Arihood

Jim Power on Avenue A with his People’s Hall of Fame Award

Putting the pieces back together,‘Mosaic Man’ finds a patron, room

Things are starting to look up for Jim Power, the East Village’s “Mosaic Man.” First, he won a City Lore People’s Hall of Fame Award last month for his “Mosaic Trail” of decorated street lampposts in the East Village.

Then, last week, Power reported that a woman who has been following his travails in The Villager, has offered him an apartment at the end of this month and will pay him to do his mosaic artwork. Power didn’t recall her name or the apartment’s location, but said the woman is a Greenwich Village resident.

“It’s going to last as long as I can behave,” he said.

Even as he was being honored for his urban folk art, Power — and his loyal canine companion, Jessie Jane — were facing tough times. They were living on the street after finding themselves homeless. The Villager reported how Jessie Jane had been slashed by someone one night as they were sleeping on the street.

“They definitely mentioned The Villager,” said Power of his new patron. “They’ve been keeping track.”

As usual, Power had plenty to say about various local issues. He is no fan of the city Department of Transportation’s proposal to close Astor Pl. between Lafayette St. and Fourth Ave.

“These guys are morons. I really think somebody’s doing something for the front of that building,” Power said, referring to the new Gwathmey-Siegel tower being constructed on Astor Pl. “The next battle ahead is this street.”

He was glad to read that the Project for Public Spaces has ranked the East Village the second-best neighborhood in North America — and feels certain that his decorated lampposts helped the area attain this lofty distinction. He wants to talk to P.P.S. about this.

“There was really no neighborhood when I got here,” he said. “I want to find out how much my work contributed.”

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