and in so many cases, it's vandalism. The institution versus the vernacular. But I must say, it interests me.
Close to this, Lil Ray 77, Ed, and Ally left their mark. The other two were more interesting, but Ed is the one that reads, so Ed you get. I have a bunch of these, from different places. Some proclaim love. Some look almost like the credits on the side of an old bank building. Yet we walk on them. I think besides the fun on breaching the pristine, there is a desire for being known, remembered. I also think the ancient impetus to art--as in horor vacui, the fear of the open as an impulse to decoration--is a part of this universal expression/annoyance.
Here is a sign where the vernacular and the official meet beautifully.
Not a gorgeous shot. However, the top sign tells us that volunteerism still exists: it's a backpack drive for returning schoolchildren. The second sign: stolen bike. I once saw a bicycle courier rip off a bicycle tire in 30 seconds with one tool. Unbelievable. I flagged down a police officer and gave a description, but no, the guy was long gone. It was a fun conversation though.
The third one: Math tutoring for money. Somebody please hire me. They've even taken the risk of putting their phone number out there.
Right next to that, someone possibly desperate has written on the side of a traffic-sign utility box. This box frequently serves as a communications center, as you can see. But this is in pencil--a schoolchild, maybe?--and starts out, "To All my Friends" and then becomes illegible. Sad. It's so small in the picture (along the top rim) you'd need Federal help in parsing it out.
Then there's BYPO. He writes perfectly legibly. I think with a Sharpie. I've seen a few others of these.
This is already covered up--didn't even take a week. For him, I think it is performance. Does he keep a notebook with his poems in them? Or are they just ephemera, like all the rest of this?
It's the life we know: some people are better at communicating than others. They have different things to communicate. Their messages are deemed worthwhile or not. Either way, it's hard to keep them in the forefront. Other stuff happens--new distractions, a coat of fresh whitewash. Yet we continually assert our identity, whether it is permitted or not. And I think, when it comes down to it, that's true in lawful communications as well as unlawful ones.