Thursday, July 25, 2013
Quasi-Vigilante Graffiti Abatement
Here's a fun activity and all you need is an old political campaign t-shirt plus a can of graffiti remover. (Sorry, Melvin Carter. Doorknocking on your first campaign was great, but I don't live in St. Paul and you're not even on the city council anymore. If it's any comfort, your campaign gear is being put to good use.)
I make the occasional forays around my home to keep my corner graffiti-free. But with Flow coming up this weekend, a stage at Penn and Broadway, and a recent shooting nearby, I ventured farther south.
The bus stop at the northwest corner had its fair share, most of which I could remove. Paint seems to come right off, but anything with markers seems to stick around in spite of my best efforts. A few other garbage cans along the corridor had markings that came off with varying degrees of success. But where things were really rough was the artistic bus stop in front of the NAZ/Five Points Building. Every pole inside the shelter was covered top to bottom in either gang markings or the smitten professions of adolescent couples.
As an aside, if the Five Points Building had its originally intended use of a sit-down restaurant with perhaps an outdoor patio area, the foot traffic alone would be enough to deter spray painters. As it stands now, quite a few people have commented to me that they thought the first floor was still vacant because the shades are drawn and nobody is seen coming or going.
I had to dub this "quasi-vigilante" because there were a few items that my shirt, elbow grease, and chemicals couldn't remove. While those likely won't be gone before Flow, at least they've been reported as I dusted off the Minneapolis 311 app.
By the way, here's the map for the weekend, in case anyone else feels like chipping in on graffiti abatement at key intersections.