THE MESSAGE IS IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 12/31/2008 - 13:31.
THE MESSAGE IS IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

dream mural woodhill clevelandIn my travels around Cleveland and elsewhere I realized that one of the landscape features in which I am most interested are the “markings” made on the environment. I don’t have the articulate smell of a dog – nosing around for that intense spot where a prior dog had lifted their leg. Rather it is my eyes that are influenced by the nuanced messages scattered about.

The last two murals I have posted here on Realneo – the Fairfax Park scene of happy people, and this “DREAM” mural which just went up near the Woodhill Housing complex this fall – make me feel uncomfortable. For one reason, there were no credits visible to explain their provenance.

Their placement location, their polish, and the juxtaposition of their “meaning” against the poverty and urban decay in their immediate surrounding environment suggest to me that these “message” murals didn’t arise out of their neighboring community but rather from an outside agent.

Like the phony Positively Cleveland self delusion campaign, these messages are placed and crafted to attempt to delude those that are most likely to view them.

So what I see here is really a gross, hypocritical, and deviant message -

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Google Map murals for Tourists

JeffB--when you post these cool murals can you include a general location via Google Maps?  This would help out-of-town folks, and even intrepid natives, to seek them out :)

The New York Times ran a promo  piece on Cleveland--36 hrs in Cleveland by Brett Sokol Sept 20, 2009. 

Unfortunately, the NYT piece advocates renting a car to visit sites in the City of Cleveland.  RTA needs to make transit attractive to visitors.  Many Cleveland Public Libraries, including Brooklyn Branch in Brooklyn Centre, are on a transit corridor (Routes 20, 25, 51, 35--all fly by here). 

Neighborhoods featured in the article are all well served by RTA--for example, Walz Branch in Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, Jefferson in the Tremont neighborhood  and Martin
Luther King Branch in University Circle neighborhood--AND all feature FREE Wi-fi access, and friendly staff members willing to share their own favorite Cleveland haunts
and to help orient visitors to Cleveland.

Libraries are a natural wayfarer destination.  So, why do we shoot ourselves in the foot?