Mosaic Trail

Art & Culture | History

Mosaic Lampposts Depicting Current Events and Historical Moments

mosaic trail east village street art

About Mosaic Trail

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • The Mosaic Trail is a collection of around 70 lampposts decorated by Jim Power, also known as the “Mosaic Man.” While the Trail prominently features lampposts, you’ll also see other decorated surfaces, such as building stoops, planters, walls, and sidewalks.
  • Called the “Gaudí of the East Village,” Jim Power says his mission is “to draw the anxiety out of the city with beauty.”
  • Look closely at the lampposts. You’ll notice all types of found objects, including pennies, marbles, plates, mugs, and pebbles.
  • The Trail stretches from Broadway to Avenue A, running along 8th Street and St. Mark’s Place.
  • Jim Power began creating the mosaic lampposts after his service in the Vietnam War and says that the project “is my religion. This is my medicine. And I’m giving it to the world—free.” He was a union carpenter before quitting and dedicating all of his time to making the mosaics.
  • All of the lampposts are inspired by and dedicated to events, places, people, and histories of the neighborhood. Examples include Saint Mark’s Place, McSorley’s Old Ale House, Fillmore East, and the Donny Records label.
  • However, today, only around 25% of Power’s original poles remain. Mayor Giuliani’s Anti-Graffiti Task Force targeted and removed them.
  • In 2004, Power was inducted into the City Lore Peoples Hall of Fame, an organization that celebrates New York City’s cultural heritage.
  • Currently, there’s an ongoing project to restore Power’s lampposts. The poles are removed and brought to a studio to repair broken or missing mosaic pieces before reinstalling them in their original locations.
  • A map of all of the decorated lampposts is on Jim Power’s website. The lampposts start at Astor Place and take you on a path through the East Village!

By: Cyd Sacks
Photography by:

Anne Crays & Cyd Sacks

New York City Tours

Great Places Near Mosaic Trail

PDT Please Don't Tell East Village Bar

PDT (Please Don't Tell)

A Clark Kent Style Clandestine Destination with Serious Cocktail Cred

113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Hanoi House east village exterior

Hanoi House

Fresh and Inventive Vietnamese Comfort Food on St. Marks

119 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Tompkins Square Park in Fall East Village

Tompkins Square Park

Eclectic People Watching Abounds in this Infamous East Village Semi-Green Space

135 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Ladybird vegetable bar exterior east village


Tasty Vegan Small Plates in a Festively Plush Atmosphere

111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Pink Olive Store Exterior
Art & Culture

Pink Olive

Whimsical, thoughtful and pretty gifts at this East Village boutique

439 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Frank OHara East Village history
Art & Culture

Frank O'Hara

The Home & History of the Prolific New York Poet

441 E. 9th Street, New York, NY 10009
Mr Throwback vintage sportswear East village
Art & Culture

Mr. Throwback

Fuel your 80s & 90s sports fashion nostalgia

437 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Superiority Burger East Village Dining

Superiority Burger

Quick, Cheap and One of the Best Vegetarian Burgers Around

119 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Ruffian Natural Wines


A Tiny Sliver of Wine Tasting Bliss and Quality Bites

125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

More Great Walking Tours


Sign up to our monthly e-mail about the latest and greatest places for food, wine art and history

Skip to content