Street Art, Literally (Sidewalk Edition)

If you take a glance up at the featured image there, you’ll get a feel for why, some days, you feel like you can only navigate by foot if you stare consistently at the ground and cast your eye nary another place. Nature tends to prevail, here. The ground isn’t really solid, and the trees don’t stop for nothin’. This results in a wickedly rumply terrain that literally, sometimes, keeps you on your toes.

It’s not without its entertaining benefits, though, sometimes staring at the ground.  There’s a lot to look at.  Before I moved here, I’d never seen such a proliferation of sidewalk graffiti as I have witnessed in my daily roamings about town.  I suppose there is something immortalizing about casting your mark into (or onto) concrete when it’s still wet, although some people tackle it with a little more panache than others.

Most of the below, until you get to the colorful display at the end, are on my own street and I walk on them every day while I to-and-fro betwixt the streetcar and home.  Of course, to start, there’s the standard, likely the most basic and prevalent statement in graffiti-land.  Initials and a date.  I like SM though, because he/she decided to smile at passersby in perpetuity.

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The second-most common is likely the most dangerous.  So-and-so loves so-and-so.  What if you break up?  Etching your eternal adoration into the pavement is akin to tattooing it on your butt.  Until something really destructive happens, that statement is permanent.  I wonder if John and Lance are still together?

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Then you’ve got the foul delinquents who like to perfect their technique by waxing profound with prolific profanity.  There’s one, which I have never bothered to capture, that spans the entire width of a parking lot entrance, that heartily proclaims me to be a “B*tch!” (exclamation point and all) every single day.  Thanks guys.  Timing can be of the essence when stuff like that goes down.  When the S&WB finally (FINALLY) repaved a square of sidewalk right outside the front of our house some time ago, it was lucky fate that J happened to be at home when someone came by and, espying a patch of fresh concrete, decided to proclaim that “Pus*y Rocks.”  J swooped forth when they took off, and was able to at least smudge out the first part.  It ain’t pretty, but it could have been worse.

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Now it gets fun.  You never know what you’re going to see and some things are more striking or entertaining than others.  I almost used this one for the birthday card I made for my boss last fall.  I might, still, when that time rolls around again this year.  I’ll crop my toes out, of course.

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Ultimately one of my favorites, this next one, due to its literary nature.  I frequently step over it and pause to consider: Is it because Atlas Shrugged that our sidewalks are so wrought with peril?

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One block over, even the critters got in on the action.  Some poor beastie got fluffy feets full of it, no mistake.

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Ambling on, it’s not just what’s IN the concrete, but what is ON it.  This statement, likely attached to some freebie someone set out on the street in the hopes of someone else wanting it, fell off and stuck itself to the ground outside a row of houses down from mine.  It stayed there forever and, in fact, I believe it is still there, although the message has been lost to a season of rain.

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Spotted in the French Quarter, this one.  I’ve seen a lot of businesses utilize sidewalk art for promotional purposes, like the sweetfaced voodoo doll outside Esoterica on Dumaine, or the myriad stenciled subtleties that pop up along Magazine St. for one restaurant or another.  This statuesque avian specimen seemed to exist for his own sake of existing, though, it felt.  I immediately thought of croquet.  Maybe Egyptian croquet, if Alice’s rabbit hole had swept her off to a parallel world of pyramids instead of playing-cards.

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Also in the Quarter, maybe lower Bourbon or thereabouts close to Esplanade.  Although I can’t verify, it looks suspiciously like a Jeremy Novy! I love spotting stuff like this.  Like all the Banksy action that we have around here, that keeps sadly getting overrun by the bad kind.  Sigh.

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And I’ll finish with my favorite.  Simple, random, caught outside the Prytania Theater on a date night.  There are my toes again, this time on purpose.  One has to love wearing the right shoes at the right moment.

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That is just a smattering of the stuff I see on the streets (literally) while I make my way around on foot here.  If I tried to capture it all at once, this entry would take days to plow through.  I won’t do that to y’all!  But since my feets are always on da streets, I’ll keep collecting and share the worthwhiles.

Time to get this day rolling.  Dog to walk, plants to water, bead delivery to make, all that stuff.  Happy Sunday!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. LOVE the post and the pics. Like I have said before, you don’t miss anything!! Which makes it so interesting for all of us! Creepingcooty2

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