Archive | June, 2010

Physical Graffiti

28 Jun

June 28, 2010


I am not a fan of graffiti. Call it spray can art, freedom of expression, whatever, if you spray it on private property it is defacement and a crime.

That said, I can and do appreciate some of the forms it takes. I’ve seen wonderful murals sprayed on sides of buildings and great designs atop water towers.


I’ve also seen strange tags and mottos. This is one I’ve seen in at least three places in Brooklyn: “I NEVER WIPE!” or simply “NEVER WIPE!”

Is the “artist” making a statement about his strange bathroom habits? Are we being encouraged to follow suit? Your guess is as good as mine. But it beats the “I STILL KILL” I’ve seen around Staten Island.

Here is the first one I noticed:


Greenwood Cemetery

It is sprayed on a wall alongside a bus depot across from Greenwood Cemetery. I have no idea how long it has been there but it feels like forever. I drive past it a few times each week and I can’t remember not seeing it. It is in a slightly odd location and cannot be missed as you drive down as the road does a bit of a zigzag and at one point the tag is right in front of you.

I have no clue who did it but I used to know a great woman who lived nearby. (And then I totally screwed things up.) I doubt it was Michelle, but if it was, I won’t tell.

Bay Parkway

This is much more recent, within I’d guess the last year and a half. Unlike the previous one, this one includes the “I.” Does he work from a big stencil and the letter didn’t fit on the other wall? Theere is an identical tag on the other side of the lot, but without the arrows.

Avenue P (1)

Avenue P (2)

These two pictures were taken on the same block within fifteen feet of each other. As you can see, one is older and defaced. Did the artist do the second one after seeing how bad the first one looked? That brings up an interesting question- does this guy check up on his work?  Does he replace work that has been damaged or defaced? Notice that one has the “I” and the other, presumably older one, does not. Is the “I” a recent addition? Also notice that these both lack the exclamation point.

If anyone has spotted any other “I NEVER WIPE” graffiti, please let me know.


26 Jun

June 26, 2010

I am a Mets fan, and as any Mets fan can tell you, that statement comes with a varying degree of pride. I could go on about all the things that I and other fans feel is wrong with the organization at this time, but there is a greater issue. Mets owners Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff have done irreparable damage to the sport.

I am not referring to the ups and downs of the franchise, I am referring to the damage done to the lexicon by their very words.

The worst expression to come into common usage in regard to baseball is “meaningful games.” Fred Wilpon first brought it into use by saying that he wanted to “play meaningful games in September.” He didn’t say he wanted to “win,” he just wanted to “play.” I want my team to win the World Series. “Play meaningful games” means losing the division and winding up in second place on the very last day of the season. Sorry you didn’t win and get to the playoffs, but wasn’t it nice playing a meaningful game? No. The Mets did that twice. I was there and it sucked both times. You know what would have been great? Winning.

The Mets will be playing a series against the Florida Marlins in Puerto Rico next week, and newspaper reports say that many players who come from Puerto Rico are “looking forward to playing meaningful games in front of their friends and family.” Really? Wouldn’t they rather look forward to winning in front of their friends and family? When did people forget the point of the game?

This isn’t new from the Wilpons. The word “win,” in any form, has been conspicuously missing from their vocabulary for a very long time. They often talk about building a “competitive team.” A competitive team ends up in second place, three games back. Tough break not making the post-season, but don’t you feel good that you were competitive? No. I feel lousy that my team lost.

At the start of the season, teams raise the World Series banner, the League banner, and even the Wild Card banner. I have yet to see a team raise the “Competitive” banner.

Not long ago the Mets fell out of first place in one of the most epic collapses ever, losing a seven game lead with seventeen games left to play. Until the very last day, every game was “meaningful,” the division was “competitive,” but at the end of the last game of the season they stood on the field watching another team celebrate. How did that feel?

Fred Wilpon has said that he made “competitive” offers to free agents. Those agents have not come to the Mets. Perhaps, instead of a  “competitive” offer, he had made a “better” offer, those players may have come here. Instead of a competitive offer, I’d prefer a winning offer.

“Meaningful” and “competitive” are important words in Little League. They are important in high school competition. Someone needs to tell the Wilpons that they are in the Major Leagues, where the only standard is winning and fans pay good money for it.

All of us, let’s get the phrases “competitive” and “meaningful games” out of our vocabulary. Let’s bring back winning.

This is what "meaningful games" feels like.

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