A much needed change came to New Cumberland this past week, as local artist Stephen Michael Haas transformed the Neato Burrito building into a piece of art.
Response from locals has been mixed, with some calling the art “An epic piece of art!” or “A Slice of Happy” and other more pessimistic residents calling it, “Horrible” and even questioning “What is it?”.
Personally, I believe the art is beautiful, and as a resident of New Cumberland for almost my whole life, I think the change in scenery is much needed and essential to the town. New Cumberland has been around since 1831, and since its earliest days has not changed much. For example the William Black Homestead still stands after it’s construction in 1776, as well as the iconic West Shore Theatre built in 1939. A plethora of families have lived here for generations, and while that’s impressive and great for the town, it unfortunately results in many residents becoming stubborn and resistant to change.
The new painting on the building is fresh, bright, and colorful; something many dull members of the borough can’t wrap their head around. The town is comprised of a lot of children, and there’s no better way to welcome a new generation of families than with a makeover of some parts of the town.
Some argue that the remodeling of these buildings within the town is taking away from the historical value, or even from their own childhood memories, but this is the Neato Burrito building, not the Eiffel Tower. The old rundown warehouse look was unfit for a substantially popular restaurant in the area, and the new coat of paint makes the building much more appealing to the eye.
Another factor to consider is that the target audience of Neato Burrito is typically teenagers and young adults. You’d be hard pressed to find a crowd of older people in Neato on any day of the week. The restaurant appeals to the youth, not the old scrooges who consider the new look to be, “A big fat mess”.
Stephen Michael Haas should be considered a hero for completely changing the look and aesthetic of a New Cumberland staple, turning it from an old rusty looking warehouse to a variegated, more eye-catching building located right on the busiest street in the town.
Haas posted on his facebook Sunday that he had finished the mural, completing a much needed (and for me, beautiful) renovation to a popular spot in the quaint setting of New Cumberland.