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“Did You Know that True Love asks for Nothing?”

June 3, 2008




     Most consider this bricked, cemented storefront and abandoned building, on this stretch of fulton st. an eyesore. For me it has been the source of inspiration many days, especially when I was feeling low with the blues. I don’t know if many of you have ever noticed that in between the graffiti block letter “E”, there is a quote by the great Steveland Morris aka Stevie Wonder…”Did you know that true love asks for nothing?”. This is a line from one of my favorite songs , on one of my favorite albums.  The name of the song is “As”, from the universally classic album “Songs in The Key of Life”.  There were plenty of weekend mornings, when my pops would rise up, open the blinds, drop the needle to the sound of vinyl crackle and play the full album(it was a double). If you don’t own this album I implore you go out out to buy it now…right now! The interesting thing about seeing the line on the wall for the past twenty years is that NO ONE ever wrote over it. I guess even graf artists, taggers and knuckleheads have to respect Stevie! When the building finally gets bought, I’m not ashamed to say I will miss this wall.

Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day

– Steveland Morris aka Stevie Wonder

16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2008 9:46 pm

    an all time favorite!!! we will all miss this wall one day…

  2. irvingplace permalink
    June 3, 2008 9:54 pm

    Do you know when the ESPO art went up? I always assumed it was there first, but I don’t think espo’s been doing his thing for that long. I’ve had dreams about buying the building just so that wall doesn’t get destroyed. Knowing that the stevie quote has been there for so long makes me appreciate it even more.

  3. bknesto permalink
    June 3, 2008 9:57 pm

    I don”t know when ESPO put up on the wall. Honestly, everytime I walked past I would key in on the quote, then my mind would either drift or I’d start seeing the song in my head!!

  4. June 3, 2008 10:03 pm

    I have a story about waking up to Stevie. The year was 2000 and I was living on 6th Ave across from the police station, near Dean. I had a crazy ass roommate and his Sunday morning ritual was to put “Superstition” on repeat and crank it up. I can remember walking down the stairs to the living room to find him dancing all herky-jerky like a f*cking maniac with a cup of coffee, chicken roll, chocolate bar, and cigarettes. That was disgusting. I still love Stevie but whenever I hear that song all I can think about is getting woken up to that every weekend. He played that shit at his wedding too.

    By the way check out where I translated “Saturn” in to Japanese.

  5. la duchessa permalink
    June 4, 2008 2:47 pm

    that’s my fav album of all time, too. my boyfriend brought over his record player a few weeks ago ans the only record we played was ‘”songs in the key of life”. it will always remind me of childhood summers. so many amazing songs…

  6. flatbushman permalink
    June 4, 2008 7:04 pm

    Stevie is beyond reproach, people know better than to eff with that. Another BRILLIANT album of his that doesn’t get the same notice of “Songs” is “Fullfillingness First Finale” Choice cuts include “Too Shy To Say”, “Creepin”, Boogie On Reggae Woman” “Heaven Is 10 Zillion Lightyears Away” and to top it off, he had Minnie Ripperton, Paul Anka, Deniece Williams, and the Jackson 5 singing background! INSANE. Go cop dat.

  7. June 7, 2008 7:40 am

    I feel the same when I see that quote on the wall. Used to walk by it all the time and it always made me think and BREATHE.

  8. liz permalink
    June 11, 2008 9:45 pm

    What a second…That has been up there for 20 years? Seriously. Wow. That is amazing. Do you remember when you first noticed it?

  9. girl next door permalink
    June 12, 2008 7:18 pm

    i’ll miss this wall too. i was sad to see the for sale sign because i assumed it meant the end was near. i am AMAZED it’s been around for 20 some years! thanks for snapping the photo i’ve been meaning to take for years! maybe i’ll just borrow yours.

  10. bknesto permalink
    June 12, 2008 11:42 pm

    Feel free to take the pic, I think this is the perfect example of “one mans trash is the next ones treasure”. What would be seen as vandalism to some…is art to me.

  11. June 16, 2008 1:51 pm

    Love this. I just took a pic of it last Thursday. I love your first photo here, putting it in context.

  12. July 2, 2008 4:56 pm

    i went to high school with ESPO, he used to shave/fade it in to the side of his head or somtimes the back……it was the early90’s people-give em’ a break.

  13. TZ DYM permalink
    July 8, 2008 1:57 am

    here is a clip of ESPO in action, he was etting over hard with these block letters

  14. August 7, 2008 12:48 am

    Is this bldg getting renovated now??? I don’t remember seeing this the last time I was on Fulton.

    • Che on 483W permalink
      January 14, 2010 4:39 am

      Thanks for the image. I didn’t know the song at the time, but this quote lifted me up many on times dreary walks past the methodone clinic (I was not a client there). Now I know the song much better. It’s funny how the revitalized building which has taken the words down will never inspire me the way that quote did – though it’s considered legal, financed by lots of $mula$, and will bring folks who will never know that such words were sacrified by their new rental homes.


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