Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why we live downtown

There's been a new pedestrian bridge erected in my old neighborhood and recently it has drawn the attention of some graffiti artists. This has some in the neighborhood a little up in arms as to what to do - cover it up, paint a pretty picture over it, etc. This prompted a response from a neighbor that I thought perfectly summed up the urban vs. suburban experience. Thought some of you might be interested...

"IMO" (I'm guessing that means "in my opinion") If we plan to petition the city for some assistance, how about starting a petition to deal with our decaying sidewalks, streets and the rotting and boarded up "beloved cottages" all over our "little Valhalla". One persons graffiti/vandalism, is another persons mural, and I personally think that it's fine the way it is, and better than a blank concrete wall. Did someone mention graffiti-artist?

It's interesting to me that we are all too quick to impose "our" murals and art ideals on the neighborhood, as the good ones, the "appropriate" ones, and to dismiss what is the natural and organic self-expressive residue of an urban neighborhood as evil, vile and otherwise "bad". How smug and elitist can you get?

Having moved here from Carmel, for the sole purpose of escaping the self righteous BS of a phony and contrived attempt at Valhalla, I find the sensibilities you all are expressing here to be frustratingly familiar and more than a little disconcerting. Carmel has lots of "murals" and sand-blasted concrete, and maybe we could find out where they got their little people statues and decorate the neighborhood with that too. What's next, our own artificial "Arts and Design District"?

Fix the streets, reduce the trash and crime, and lets at least fain an attempt to be kind and tolerant of our differing tastes and ideas. Why not leave the Candy Land idealism to our suburban friends to the North. IMO

3 Responses to “Why we live downtown”

Anonymous said...
July 14, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Here! Here!
I couldn't agree more

Anonymous said...
July 14, 2008 at 9:19 PM

Depends on what the "graffiti" was saying and what the REAL purpose of it was.

Gang-related signs outlining turf? Bad. (I mean, really, how could this be good?)

Social outcry or other artistic bent? Great.

You'll need a socio-anthropologist to find out. Quick, somebody write a grant!


Crossed said...
July 15, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Appropriate segway into your July 10th post: Carmel Gallery Walk on Saturday......

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