Allen Ginsburg mural by Damien Mitchell for the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

5Pointz Resurrected: The Museum of Street Art (MoSA) in New York City

When we showed up at the new CitizenM Bowery Hotel for our tour of the Museum of Street Art, the chipper front desk clerk showing us the way asked, “Do you know about 5Pointz?” We excitedly proclaimed that we’d actually visited the original (which returned such a big WOW that we felt like we’d just confessed to being present when electricity was discovered). It shouldn’t be surprising. The walls of 5Pointz were whitewashed less than five years ago, but its loss was felt amongst street art lovers worldwide. It’s a local legend, and treated as such.

Gone, but not forgotten

Justin in front of a mural at the Original 5Pointz in Long Island City in 2013 via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
At the 5Pointz in Long Island City in 2013
Lynn in front of a mural by The Yok and Sheryo from the Original 5Pointz in Long Island City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: @_sheryo. At 5Pointz in Long Island City in 2013.
Mural of a girl's face in profile by VBallentine99 for the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: @vballentine99
Cityscape mural by Kenji Takabayashi for the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Street art culture is such that it builds upon the path laid by its predecessors, so even though street art is now widely celebrated in New York City at hubs like The Bushwick Collective and The Welling Court Mural Project, it seems fitting to have a spot that pays homage to 5Pointz. Meres One was the primary curator at 5Pointz and fought hard to turn it into a graffiti museum. So when CitizenM offered him the space at their latest New York City location, he worked with co-curator Marie Cecile Flageul to bring 20 artists who had originally displayed work at 5Pointz together to build the Museum of Street Art (MoSA).

CitizenM seems like the perfect partner for the venture: its hotels feature bright pops of color, contemporary design and a passion for art. Its Bowery location even more so, as The Bowery and Lower East Side have a strong connection to the street art scene in New York City. It’s home to the Bowery Wall, of course, and many of its structures are canvases for street artists from around the world.

RuPaul mural by Elle for the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: @ellestreetart

Justin in front of an abstract mural at the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Lynn in front of a paint splatter mural at the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Mural of pickle running by Sheryo & Yok for the Museum of Street Art in New York City via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: @_sheryo. Sheryo & Yok are back!

If you think you’re stepping into a sterile art gallery, think again. Works by street artists like the dynamic duo of The Yok and Sheryo, Vince Ballentine, Damien Mitchell, Elle, Danielle Mastrion, and many more adorn the hotel’s stairwell walls, making it a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Because it’s in a stairwell, each turn offers a surprise. So even though we’ve shared some photos here, keep in mind that this is something that really should be explored in person.

Pro Tips:

The museum is free and open for self-guided tours, but you’ll need a reservation. Make yours here.

All bags must be checked in before you start the tour.

Tours are currently limited to groups of five individuals, so overcrowding shouldn’t be an issue. For group tours, you can reach out to

The museum spans 20 floors, but the tour starts at the top and exits into the lobby. You won’t need to spend hours on the stairclimber to prep for it, but consider that you might be in there for a while.

Just before you exit the tour, there’s a small pile of chalk near an open wall where you can leave a little (temporary) mark of your own. Have fun with it!

Also, if you’re looking for amazing street art galleries or just the best street art in NYC, you can find additional information in our definitive guide 10 Exciting Places to Find the Best Street Art in NYC.

Pair it with:

A meal at Nakamura

Interior of Nakamura restaurant in the Lower East Side via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Truffle Miso and seasonal Tom Yum ramen dishes with ajitama egg at Nakamura via Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Truffle Miso and seasonal Tom Yum ramen dishes with ajitama egg

At the helm of Nakamura is the eponymous Chef Shigetoshi Nakamura. Though it’s his first restaurant in the United States, Chef Nakamura’s name holds a lot of weight in Japan, where he is known as one of the “Ramen Gods”, a title given only to those making the best of the best. You really can’t go wrong here, but it’s worth noting that their options geared towards herbivores (including fully vegan options) are given the same care as those for the carnivores. Another bonus: Nakamura offers both hot and cold ramen, so you can visit any time of year.

Just remember, when you are asked if you wish to add an ajitama egg to your ramen–and you will be–the only reasonable answer is “yes”.

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Mural of Allen Ginsberg by Damien Mitchell at CitizenM's MoSA via Mad Hatters NYC blog.

– L. & J.

16 thoughts on “5Pointz Resurrected: The Museum of Street Art (MoSA) in New York City”

  1. I just love this! Wonderful that the community/CitizenM stepped up to fill the void that was the destruction of 5Pointz. I’ve never been to 5Pointz myself – only heard of it when watching Exit Through the Gift Shop a while ago – so I look forward to hearing more about what it was like when you guys went. This is such a great find, thank you for sharing! Also a great indoor activity for the upcoming cold months ahead 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lauren! We think alike. I, too, kept imagining how nice this would be to visit during the winter months. And CitizenM has a really cool lobby, which happens to include a small coffee bar, so you can sit and chill afterwards before heading back out into those cold New York streets.

  2. wow! looks like a great place to explore, loved all the colorful and interesting street/wall arts !! The food at Nakamura looks inviting! Thanks for sharing .

    1. Hey there, Nisha! Thanks for checking out the post. MoSA was very cool and didn’t take a huge chunk out of our day. Nakamura was very tasty. And though it was warm on the day we visited, I handled that by going with a cold noodle soup. Sort of a spicy Tom-Yum-Goong tamato gazpacho kinda thing. Nakamura is definitely worth checking out.

  3. There is a museum for everything!
    Many a times I know you guys are visiting some of the same places/ doing some of the same activities we are- but this one I hadn’t even heard of! Enjoyed reading about it.
    Also love how you guys put in pics from 2013.

    1. Hey Tara! Indeed, there is a museum for everything…in NYC. And that’s yet another reason I love it. We do tend to naturally overlap with some of our activities, but I think it’s great that we can still surprise each other, too. The pics from 2013 make me feel a combination of nostalgia and sadness. 5Pointz was still there, in all its spray painted glory, and we had only just begun our adventures.

  4. It amazes me how you guys are able to discover these gems early in their opening. Again, superb job on your post. Your reporting makes me want to look at our remaining schedule and see if it needs to be revised. The pairing looks a tad bit more appetizing and filling than saltines, cheese and onions!

    1. Thank you so much, Tip! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and hope you’re able to fit a visit into your schedule. The last sentence of your comment absolutely cracked me up, by the way. 😛

  5. What a great find! I share your love for street art, and putting this inside a stairwell is such a creative approach. No one really loves climbing the stairs, but with wall art like this, I could become inspired! Thank you for sharing this special place.

    1. Hi Jam! That’s a very good point you bring up. Stairwells, outside of their practical purposes, are generally either prosaic or creepy. I’ve certainly never found one that was in any way compelling. That is until now. Thanks again for checking out our post.

  6. Wow, great photos of some fantastic street art! I think I really want to see this. Among so many other things. Quit telling me about all the things!

    Seriously, a warm place to visit in winter, and a nearby venue for spectacular ramen? Sound like a no-brainer for my December visit. But you shouldn’t have told me about not needing the stair climber prep, that would have been good exercise 😉

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed our post, Cynthia. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for a visit to NYC. We have so many recommendations for you. And, of course, meeting up must be on the agenda!

  7. I wished that I had taken good pictures of 5Pointz before it disappeared. I love how CitizenM always takes into account the neighborhood that they are in when decorating the hotel. Great post again, guys!

    1. Thanks so much, Trudy! Those pics from the original 5Pointz were taken with a cell phone, believe it or not! They were from pre-blogging days, we were just there for fun after paying MoMA PS1 a visit. It was a treat for us to look back and see those 😉

      And I totally agree about CitizenM hotels! I love the artsy vibe in general, it’s like admiring the art collection I wish I had.

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