WNY artist completes Weehawken tribute mural under Route 495 bridge

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WEEHAWKEN – On a recent freezing afternoon, artist Raul Rubio of West New York was focused on finishing his latest mural nestled under the Route 495 helix bridge to the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken. He just needed a few extra touches to capture the iconic New York City skyline.
“This is twilight,” Rubio said, of the orange tinge covering the city’s buildings on the mural. “When night comes, that’s when all the tourists come and park in Weehawken to see the city light up.”
For those taking jitney buses from Hudson County to the Port Authority bus terminal for work, or driving into Midtown, Rubio’s now-finished work will definitely light up the commute.
The colorful piece features five “tributes” to Weehawken. They include a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who died after a duel on the town’s waterfront in 1804; images of children playing in a local playground, the town’s Soldiers and Sailors monument on Boulevard East, the aforementioned New York skyline as seen from the Jersey side, and, of course, the Weehawken Water Tower.
The painting, which took Rubio three weeks to complete, was a brainchild of township officials and him.
“I talked to [Mayor Richard Turner] and the town’s manager, Giovanni Ahmad,” Rubio said. “We came up with a concept of how to bring the image of Weehawken to this mural.”
The mural’s location was strategic, part of Mayor Turner’s ongoing plans to beautify the town. Before, the space was drab and lifeless, a spot begging for human hands to create images to remember.
“This is going to bring light to this path, because it’s been neglected for a while,” Rubio said of the sidewalk area by the mural. “Now when you pass by, you won’t see a dark, eerie place. You’ll see something nice and beautiful instead, that gives a sense of pride to the community, that says, ‘We’re part of Weehawken.’ ”