29.2.12

Classic Sidewalks of the Silver Screen #63

Luke fails to communicate...



... in Stuart Rosenberg's (1967) classic, Cool Hand Luke.

Signs of the Times #50

Wet Paint
free sample
Door is wet

[Wall in subway. Brooklyn.]


NO ADS / FLYERS

[Fence. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.]


UPS/FED EX
PLEASE LEAVE
PACKAGES @
RESTAURANT.
THANKS!!

[Door. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.]


SIMPLY
POLISHED

Promotional
Prices
Ending soon!!

[Sidewalk. Upper West Side, Manhattan.]


FINE
TAILOR

[Fence. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.]


Plummer Available 24hrs.
[more below]

[Window. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.]


Elisso Martinez
32 Years Old
Killed By Car
August 27, 2009
Rest In Peace

[Ghost bike. Near Flushing and Broadway, Brooklyn.]


 Doorbell >

[Wall. Bushwick, Brooklyn.]


Hello Stranger.
Are you looking for a
car? Well look no further!
I'm the right car! I have
AC, Heater, and a radio! I 
run great! 100% your needs.

[heart]

[Minivan window in car dealer. Broadway and Flushing, Brooklyn.]



SPREAD LOVE IT'S THE BROOKLYN WAY

[Wall. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.]


$2.00
TACOS. ONLY
TO GO

Special
Chicken, Pork, Egg, Beef.

[Window. Upper Upper West Side.]


LIFE RING BUOY
WITH LINE

[Fence. Ferry to Staten Island.]


one single bed
for girl for rent
###-###

[Post. Lower East Side, Manhattan.]


DO NOT CHAIN
BICYCLE TO FENCE

[Fence. Location forgotten.]


Flower
INSIDE

[Wall. Lower East Side, Manhattan.]


COME IN!!!
We may have
to move OH NO!!!
Sale

[Door. Upper West Side, Manhattan.]

PUSH
If That Doesn't Work
PULL
If That Doesn't Work
WE MUST BE CLOSED.

[Door. Upper West Side, Manhattan.]


 Welcome to Bushwick City Farm. Let by neigh-
borhood volunteers, the Farm  is an open space
that provides free food, clothing, and education
for the community. Here is an opportunity to see
again (or for once) the lives of chickens, fruits,
vegetables, and a glimpse  into the mysteries of
our food. The Farm is not funded by any 
organization and we operate on a "give what 
you can, take what you need" basis.

[Fence. Bushwick, Brooklyn.]

SALES
OUT OF 
APARTMENT
C-D $1.50

[Sidewalk. Midtown, Manhattan.]


Hot soup:
available
in side

[Door. Upper West Side, Manhattan.]


Maybe... Just
Maybe This may well
be the BEST Effing
Burger You will
Ever EAT!

[Window. Upper West Side, Manhattan.]


Lay
Away

[Door to mattress shop. Harlem, Manhattan.]


Thank You
For
Another
Great Year

[Fence. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.]


SIDEWALK
CLOSED
Please Use Other Side

[Wood. Near Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.]


NO DIAL TONE

[Phone. Midtown, Manhattan.]


Dear Guests,
We Gladly Welcome Families
And Kids To Dine In Our
Restaurant. However, Due
To Lack Of Space, We
Request That You Park Your
Strollers Inside Our
Vestibule.

THANK YOU MANAGMENT

[Vestibule. Upper West Side.]

Warning
CAR 
Entrance

[and]

Beware Of The
CAR

[Garage Door. Bushwick, Brooklyn.]

 ALL CABS
TAKES CARD
MTC, VISA
AMEX

[Cab stand window. Airport, Queens.]

CPR Kit Located
Behind Register

[Brick wall. Location unknown.]

CAUTION
HOLLOW
SIDEWALKS

[Wall. Soho, Manhattan.]


ATTENTION BICYCLE OWNER:

PLEASE REMOVE YOUR PROPERTY
FROM THIS LAMP POST. IF NOT
REMOVED BY MONDAY, DEC. 19th, THE
LOCK WILL BE CUT AND THE BICYCLE
WILL BE REMOVED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.

[Fence. (Taken on Februrary 27th.) Soho, Manhattan.]

27.2.12

Classic Sidewalks of the Silver Screen #62

One of my top 3 urban nostalgia videos...



... is this little (1950) documentary of the Third Avenue El before it was torn down.

22.2.12

Classic Sidewalks of the Silver Screen #61

Isaac and Mary hit it off and walk her penis dog...



... in Woody Allen's (1979) witty classic, Manhattan.

Classic Sidewalks of the Silver Screen #60

Bill and Ted get some help with their homework in the Circle K parking lot...



... in Stephen Herek's (1989) excellent Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

21.2.12

Anarchist Burma-Shave: Como Avenue Street Art

[A triptych of signs along SE Como Avenue.]
Street art, like graffiti or yarnbombing or Shepard Fairey / Banksy type stuff, is some of my favorite art in the world. I can literally spend hours paging through photos of really good street art, just being amazed the creativity and accessibility of these amazing interventions into everyday life.

I was doing that the other day, looking through a book called Street Renegades.  I found myself reading the excellent introduction by Francesca Gavin, where She describes how street art changes the way we perceive the city:
These little anonymous interventions are not profit-based. Nor do they appear to be publicizing the artist. Instead, they merely change the way people experience city life.
(Gavin 6)
And, she describes why this kind of intervention, to cultivate a 'new way of looking', can be so important: 
The reason why this work is so important culturally is because it forces the public to become aware of and interact with the world around them. … people have to reconnect with the awareness of other people in our fragmented societies. The only place where individuals literally come into contact with each other is outside the bubble of their homes, screens, commodities. The street is the only place where we know something is real – not exaggerated or interpreted. Free public interventions rebel against submissive consumption. They are, by definition, forms of subversive protest.
(Gavin 7)
I guess, though, I've always felt a little left out about street art, what with living in the Twin Cities. Sure, we have the occasional yarnbomb or something, but compared to all the activity in someplace like New York (Conflux!), San Francisco, or Toronto, good street art seems like something that's happening somewhere else.

At least, that was true until the other day. See somehow, somebody has started a guerilla social street art street sign campaign EXACTLY along my route to school. It's as if someone out there is intentionally trying to validate my existence. It feels so good!

Here are the signs:











Bonus:


[This sign was there too, but I don't think its part of the same campaign. It's obviously a bit different.]

20.2.12

Props to the Walker for their Bike Parking!


[Almost totally hip and futuristic[
As a cyclist and sidewalk philosopher, it's always really nice to see influential institutions setting trends in our Twin Cities, doing visionary things to push the rest of the urban pack ahead into the future. 
So I wanted to give some shout out props to the Walker Art Center's semi-new redesign for putting so much bike parking conveniently right near the entrance to their brand new museum extension. Parking is one of the things that is a real clear head-and-shoulders advantage for biking, and so having ample parking near the door really sends a clear signal to cyclists (and non-cyclists) that "Yes! Bikes belong!" Having parking near the door says, "We welcome you, cyclists. We appreciate you and want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make your life easier, more pleasant, and more comfortable.".

Thank you Walker Art Center! You're leading the way!

Well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad. Maybe we shouldn't give them soooo much credit. After all, biking to the Walker only makes all kinds of sense. The Walker is right in the heart of the Twin Cities' cycling community, located extremely close to Downtown, Loring Park, Uptown, and all the biking bikers that live in the area between Franklin and Lake, and Hennepin and Nicollet.

Plus, the Walker is located smack dab on the busiest, most congested (freeway-horrible) place in the entire city: the "corner" of Hennepin, Lyndale and I-94, just over the Lowry Hill Tunnel. That corner is almost always choked with traffic. Also, its very hard to find parking there! So, it only makes sense that the museum would want to encourage alternative modes of transportation, and put their bike parking in a convenient place by the front door. Not to mention the fact that the Walker is certainly trying to appeal to young, hip, artsy people, trying to move past their elderly and wealthy Warhol demographic and attract a new generation of art lovers. So, I guess it only makes perfect sense that they'd try cater to the new bike-friendly generation, to people who love riding bikes in Minneapolis, and who love art at the same time. Of course they'd want to embrace people on bikes!

[The Walker Art Center bike parking, conveniently located next to the semi truck.]
Oh, hold on.

Hold on. I'm just being told that the Walker extension bike parking is NOT by the door. [adjusting radio earpiece] I'm being told that the bike parking is behind the building, next to the loading dock with semi-trucks, nowhere near a door or entrance to the building, completely out of sight from anywhere, difficult to find. I'm being told that the new Walker bike parking kind of sucks.

Hm. Ok. My apologies, readers! Please disregard the first part of this post. I seem to have been misinformed. 

Well, that's too bad. Hm. (Once again, my optimism is out of control!)

On the other hand, I don't want to get too upset. I can understand the Walker's decision process here. It's not like there's very much space along Hennepin Avenue for bike parking. I mean, where would you even put it? It'd be one thing if they had huge concrete plazas along the sidewalk where you could easily put bike racks by the door. But, as it is, it's hard to see how they could possibly shoehorn a bike rack or two over near the entrance. There's just not enough space (what with all the symbolic circles of grass and important symbolic non-cluttered window'd facade space required for easy architectural advertising from people passing by in their cars on their way to the I-94 entrance ramp)! 

Oh well, Walker Art Center. There's always next expansion.


[The cramped congested sidewalk space outside the Walker entrance.]


[How would they shoehorn a bike rack in here? We need a 21st future century innovative cutting edge design solution design!]

17.2.12

*** Sidewalk Weekend! ***

Sidewalk Rating: Most Excellent, Dudes

When I am little and crossing streets, my mother and I squeeze hands in pulse beats. We live in Washington Heights, near St. Nicholas Avenue, and it is a river of shops and strangers, foreign words, sausages wrapped together in greasy paper and eaten on the fly. We are moving, and we ar together. My sisters is at school, my father at work, and Toby and I are on the streets. People talk to us. Strangers talk to my mother. She is beautiful with deep-set eyes and high cheekbones, clip clopping in high heels and pencil skirts, and there is something about her.

[from Toby Dead, by Laurie Stone.]




[The sidewalk outside of one of the stops for Stupor Bowl 15.]

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