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10 Amazing Murals In NYC: Then And Now (Part II)

New York City is an ever-changing canvas - from the fashion on its city streets to its city walls. This constant evolution of style and art is depicted on its ever-changing landscape. Here are ten amazing murals then and now. Photos by @venusinorbit.

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1. Screaming at the Lady || Little Italy || April 2013

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Art by Lady Millard and JR. How do you handle pressure? According to WebMD, frequent anger increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that emotions such as anger and hostility activate the body's "fight or flight response," creating wear and tear on the heart and arteries, which in time, could prove fatal. Find ways to relax avoiding stress and anger, such as by doing meditation, yoga, dancing or engaging in sports. Research indicates that mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques help a broad range of individuals cope with daily stress, help maintain a positive outlook and improve vitality and coping mechanisms.

2. Red Hot Summer Day || Bushwick, Brooklyn || November 2014

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Viewing this brilliant mural by twins How and Nosm, on Knickerbocker and Flushing Ave, one can't help but see it as a depiction of the various struggles New Yorkers from all walks of life experience daily. Ferguson has been on the news recently as an illustration of the racial tensions still very much part of daily living here in the United States. New York City is no exception. Let us not forget Eric Garner, whose tragic death resulted from a police chokehold while they arrested him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes and breaking up a fight in Staten Island in July 2014. Let us also commemorate Akai Gurley, who, a few weeks ago, in the early hours of November 20, 2014, was fatally shot by cops on their patrols, firing without a warning. Gurley was unarmed and with his girlfriend. What happened in Ferguson is not an isolated incident. Police officers have to be held accountable for their actions, only then can they gain the public's trust. #StopPoliceMisconduct

3. I Love New York || Chelsea || November 2014

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It's all love from Nick Walker, whose pieces can be found all over NYC. Did you know that New Yorkers can now get their own .nyc domain? Over 50,000 New Yorkers registered within the first month, reports the Daily News. In other city-based domains, Berlin ranks number one, while London ranks number three. NYC is a close second.

4. Multicolored Eagle || Welling Court Murals || June 2014

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Amazing work by @seeoneart. Eagles are large, powerfully-built birds of prey, and apex predators in the avian food chain. The Philippine eagle, also known as the monkey-eating eagle, is the largest in length, measuring up to 3 ft 4 inches and weighing up to 17.6 lbs. Besides monkeys, eagles eat palm civets, flying squirrels, fruit bats, birds, and snakes. Numbering under 500 and steadily decreasing, this critically endangered species are threatened by deforestation, mining, pollution, including exposure to pesticides. Conservation efforts are underway, but more needs to be done, particularly government-led efforts, such as legislation and enforcement.

For a geopedia about the Philippine eagle, click here. For a gallery of the eagle in its habitat, click here.

5. Buff the Violence || Lower East Side || March 2014

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Art by Icy and Sot. According to the Human Rights Watch, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel groups. Some are as young as eight years old. Once recruited, they may serve as porters or cooks, guards, messengers or spies. Many are pressed into combat, where they may be forced to the frontlines or sent into minefields ahead of older troops. Some have been used for suicide missions. Children are are sometimes forced to commit atrocities against their own family or neighbors, ensuring that the child is "stigmatized" and can never go back to the community.

With all the Black Friday craziness here and across the pond, have we had a chance to reflect on the human costs of capitalism? The media has often reported on harsh and exploitative conditions in Apple manufacturing facilities in China, such as FoxConn, where young kids work alongside adults, polishing new Iphones in factories manned by armed guards.

6. Anna and Karl || Little Italy || March 2014

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Two icons of the fashion industry, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld and their mutual admiration for each other as depicted by artist Bradley Theodore. In other fashion news, according to The Academy for Eating Disorders, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses and urges the fashion industry to institute regular, yearly medical evaluations and developmentally-appropriate medical and psychological screening and assessments for all models. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Other Associated Disorders, up to 24 million people suffer from an eating disorder. Only 1 in 10 men and women with an eating disorder receive treatment. Between 2006 and 2007, at least four professional models have died from complications caused by anorexia nervosa. How much responsibility does the fashion industry have? Click here for one perspective.

7. Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow || Welling Court Murals || September 2014

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Art by Dasic Fernandez || DID YOU KNOW? Marinol (generic name: Dronabinol) has long been used to treat nausea and committing caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with HIV infection. Dronabinol (also called THC) is a man-made form of the active natural substance in marijuana. ~ WebMD || So why is marijuana use criminalized? We should ask the drug companies.

In the meantime, two California counties sue five of the largest drug manufacturers, alleging that companies reaped blockbuster profits by manipulating doctors into believing the benefits of narcotic painkillers outweighed the risks, despite evidence to the contrary. According to the suit, the widespread prescribing of narcotics has created "a population of addicts" and triggered a resurgence in the use of heroin, which produces a similar high to opiate-based painkillers, but is cheaper. Although reports have shown a 110% increase in opiod drug sales between 2001 and 2012, and overdose deaths have quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, lawmakers, especially those with ties to drug companies have repeatedly refused to take steps to combat this drug epidemic.

8. Wonderland || Bowery Mural || October 2014

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Mural at Bowery and Houston by Brazilian twins, Os Gêmeos. Originally painted in 2009, the wall was the original site of Keith Haring's 1982 mural recreated in 2008. Os Gêmeos dedicated this mural in memory of their friend Dash Snow (SACER IRAK CREW), said to have died of a drug overdose.

In related news, recent reports indicate that drug overdose, particularly from prescription meds and heroin, has overtaken AIDS as the number one cause of homeless deaths. The study, which tracked 28,033 homeless adults in the Boston area, from 2003 through 2008, found that of those who died, 17 percent died of drug overdoses, while 6 percent died of causes related to HIV. That is a rough reversal of the trend found in a similar study 15 years earlier, when 6 percent of deaths were due to drug overdose and 18 percent due to AIDS. Researchers suggest increasing addiction and mental health programs and better integration of the homeless population into these services.

9. Comfort and Love || Williamsburg || September 2014

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This classic Williamsburg mural is a beloved sight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Painted by Belgian artist, ROA, who typically paints animals indigenous to the area, it depicts a rare intimate moment shared by the city's rodents. No one knows exactly how many rats are in New York City, but some estimate that there are at least as many rats as people. According to the US Census, there were 8.406 million people in NYC. Think about that the next time you litter in the subway. For a video of a rat attack on the NYC subway, click here.

10. Believe in Yourself || Welling Court || June 2014

VenusInOrbit / Via instagram.com

It was such a privileged to capture this moment. The young kid in this photo asked artist Alice Mizrachi whether other folks could tag over the walls. Alice told him no, but that he could sign up to participate in community art activities because a community space is coming soon! I feel very honored and humbled to bear witness to this interaction. This is what #artforsocialjustice is about - inspiring the youth to make a positive change. Thank you to folks such as Alice and the folks at Ad Hoc Art Project, for holding its yearly street art exhibit and block party, engaging young and old art lovers alike.

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