City American Graffiti
posted by July 24 at 23:35 PMon
Happened to be walking up East Thomas Street near Summit Avenue right around sunset. Used to live on East Thomas, so I know everything about it—when to expect bricks, when you have to swerve to avoid big bushes, where the driveways are—but suddenly there was a wall I’d never seen before. No wait, it was a wall I’d seen before, but it was now a different color. Colors. It was covered in graffiti.
They used to sandblast and paint over graffiti on this wall to keep it from, well, being covered with graffiti. But now? Looks like someone came along and decided that a little graffiti doesn’t hurt anyone, even maybe that a little graffiti is kinda nice. How German. It does remind a person of Hamburg or Berlin, where just about every building, from the ground to about fifteen feet high, has a belt of graffiti around it. (You’ll be looking in the window of a fancy restaurant, people in coats and ties and such, and the exterior wall all around the window will be covered in spraypaint—drawings, tags, stencils, etc.)
As a former resident of the street, I had to admit this wall is looking not too bad. A couple old ladies walked by and they didn’t comment on what in the heck the gosh darn kids have been doing to the neighborhood, etc. They just walked on by, squinting in the semi-shade. There are green trees along the sidewalk, and these colors sorta go well with green. Yeah, some of the tags are crappy, but whatever. It’s nice to live in a graffiti town, just the way it’s nice to live in a poster-happy town. Go East Thomas Street! Go team! Way to—
I backed up and realized that the building behind this wall is in the process of being demolished. The whole half a block is junked.
In other words, no one with any clout wants this wall to look this way, it’s just sort of being left to look this way because its owner split, or its owner is going to get rid of it, and no one minds because something new is on the way.
If the other buildings going up in the neighborhood are any indication, what is on the way is going to suck. What I’m saying is, enjoy it while you can, people. Looking forward to seeing how it fills up.
(Related: Where can you buy spraypaint on the hill?)