Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Of sign gaffes ... and setbacks

We've all come across, somewhere or another, signs made of single, removable letters that have experienced the misfortune of inadvertent or deliberate alteration -- lights burning out to form new words (or non-words) at night, or letters physically dropping or disappearing.

In college, a favorite haunt of students was an eatery called Brat Kabin. But early into my time there, the "B" in the first word and "K" and "a" in the second word fell off the facade, were never replaced, and the place was forever thereafter referred to by just about everyone who needed to refer to it as "Rat Bin." And the place still did a booming business.

Such is the background -- and motivation -- for the first two images in today's post: the amusing -- and embarrassing -- results of sign alteration. The image at the top comes from a sidewalk along Garfield Drive on the Southside of Indianapolis. Quite a few letters were removed; it once identified the street as "East Garfield Drive." But somehow the last nine letters cracked and went away or were phyiscally removed, leaving only "East Garf."

Nevertheless, East Garf seems like a logical colloquial shorthand for the place.

The second picture (above), while also comical, is far more embarrasing -- especially to parents with young children who might pass by it. Perhaps this faux pas already has been rectified, and if so, good for the downtown apartment complex. But if not -- and this picture was taken July 23 of this year -- the Canal Apartments management staff's bell needs to be rung.

The third and fourth images are unrelated to the above topic, except for the fact they were taken in or near the Garfield Park sidewalk sign above.

The image immediately above shows a sharp bend in Garfield Drive ... and how street maintenance folks not too long ago attempted to try and slow down southbound drivers (which would be traffic headed toward the camera) making this left turn onto a 90-degree leg of the street by creating a new, extra pair of yellow stripes that would force the turn to be wider and, therefore, theoretically, slower.

The concept itself and the objective have merit, as motorists going through this sharp bend more often than not are traveling much faster than they should be. But it hasn't worked much, from what I've heard of people who live there. It's largely missed or simply ignored. Which is too bad. The neighborhood is starting to look up, and more children can be seen, which increases the chances of a youngster getting clipped by the careless drivers going through there.

The last picture of the discarded Budweiser beer bottle (above) is simply a sorry sign of the times -- and, hopefully, only a minor setback for the neighborhood's revival. It was taken not more than 20 feet to the left of where the camera was situated when the street striping picture was taken.

1 comment:

  1. The canal sign is still in this state as of 8/13/09. Many south side neighborhoods have those kind sidewalks, much of them are in the same condition...