A little Lady Liberty defends her iconic status. (photo: Diego Lynch)

What do tourists have to show for their trips to New York City?

Selfies and souvenirs, usually.

The moment visitors step off the plane, they’re greeted by ranks of Statue of Liberty miniatures, skyline snow globes, and Yankees paraphernalia. However, does everyone Heart NY?

The Storefront for Art and Architecture, located in Soho, commissioned 59 alternative objects, from over 59 artists, architects, and designers, for an exhibition called “Souvenirs: New New York Icons.” To overcome the homogenization that occurs when a 393-year-old city of over 8 million people is boiled down to a single piece of plastic, these 59 works correspond to New York’s 59 community districts.

Some pieces take on economic inequality, such as the one highlighting Brooklyn District 15; “Houses of the Homeless” portrays the city as a maze where white shining skyscrapers intermix with golf courses, parks, and swimming pools — a warren of opulence with dark recesses from which the faces of the homeless peek out.

Peeking out. (photo: Diego Lynch)

The show’s iconography reflects other cultural distinctions. For example, some of the pink-colored art signifies the prevalence of the LGBTQ community in the city. And a district in Staten Island is represented by QSpace, a queer architectural research organization.

The souvenirs in the gallery. (photo: Diego Lynch)

The Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit gallery space that focuses on the advancement of design and architectural ideas. The exhibit opened on September 19, and will remain open until November 18.

Ideal community

A post shared by Torres Michelle (@michelletorrrres) on

NEMESTUDIO, As Built – As Lived, 2017. Our contribution to Storefront Art and Architecture’s Souvenirs: New New York Icons Exhibition, as part of @ideascity of @newmuseum Opens tomorrow, Saturday, 09/16! Exhibition design by @mmmosarchitects, graphic design by @studiolin #nemestudio #asbuiltaslived #anotherexquisitecorpse #modelswithinamodel #souvenirs #newnewyorkicons #modelshow @storefrontnyc . . . As Built – As Lived is a sampling of models within a model. The project piles together six models, each of which presenting the close-up view of an eccentric as-found detail located in our assigned area in Brooklyn. Similar to as-built drawings that reveal all changes made to the specifications during or after construction, the details are presented with their full articulation, and presented as replicas or relief models. The details are surrounded by several out-of-scale entourage objects that each tell a different story about the city.

A post shared by NEMESTUDIO (@nemestudio) on

A post shared by rai mensah (@raimensah) on

Selecting New York's next iconic souvenir #souvenirs #newyorknewyork #aihainthecity #storefrontforartandarchitecture

A post shared by Aiha Nguyen (@aihaveapassport) on