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August 14, 2009

New Jersey Graffiti


New Jersey Graffiti, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Some of the fine graffiti along the train tracks between New York and Newark.

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You actually took the train to Pittsburgh? Wow.

I just returned from Italy, where I took the trains from Milan-Bologna, Bologna-Florence and then Florence - Rome.

A fair amount of graffiti along the tracks there. And on some of the older regional cars, the entire cars were sometimes vandalized.

Same kind of stuff you see in the posted photo, the bullshit you saw all over NYC and its trains in the pre Giuliani days. Which">http://www.fatcap.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/subway-graffiti.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fatcap.com/nyc-old-school-subway-graffiti/&usg=__Am3lEwhC3IFDldvuDog2iIkIow8=&h=283&w=417&sz=34&hl=en&start=4&sig2=kPEkeW_q987zOeVf6UImrw&um=1&tbnid=HRYWs3_sLdhYkM:&tbnh=85&tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dold%2Bny%2Bgraffit%2Bsubway%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=ahKGSqraDorr-Abc1IW7CQ">Which was fun for a few kiddies, horrible and degrading to the poor and middle class who had to endure those conditions every day.

If one is not in big hurry taking train is ok, can get a lot of done while sitting on a train. (like write entire great american novel in your blackberry. hah..) But you are right, train in the US is fairly shitty. It takes 6-7 hrs plus delays (and amtrak is notoriously never on time) So a train ride that is only 2-3 hrs in europe is 6-7 hrs in the US.

If it is traveling between big flight hubs, alternate transportation is not worth it.

They really need to seriously fix public transportation in the US. (I still thin, digging Russia-Alaska train tunnel is ultra cool. I long for the day one can take express train from NY to Berlin and down to Singapore.)

wow...that would be a year long adventure for sure.

PS. I like one of those new british grafitti. (basically graffic design with social attitude painted on street.)

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=British+graffiti&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=hhSGSrHfBZKutge-mtjnDA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&gbv=1&ei=ihSGSoK8KozwsQPYrp2iBw


The gangland insignia is so 80's

I actually fantasized about taking the train to Pittsburgh and back, but it's too long to be a day trip, and I have nowhere to stay there.

I took a night Amtrak train from NY to Chicago one January as a teenager. Impossibly slow in long stretches, esp one in Indiana -- but I loved it, as it was my first serious trip west. I stayed up all night to watch the towns go by.

I've always loved trains, even our slow American ones.

Meh. At average TGV or Shinkansen speeds, a New York-Chicago straight shot line would take 5 hours, New York-Pittsburgh would take 2:30, and New York-Washington would take 1:30. Unfortunately, to have that would conflict with the goal of subsidizing GM in any way possible.

I disagree.

If you could travel from NY to Chicago in five hours, it would hurt the airlines a lot ( esp American and United ) but I think it would have minimal impact on cars, maybe zero. Few people take the car to Chicago.

Well, NY-Chicago alone wouldn't make any sense. It'd probably come from combining multiple shorter lines, like NY-Philly-Pittsburgh and Chicago-Cleveland-Pittsburgh, which would make people drive less. It'd also let developers build more densely - think Atlantic Yards but on a larger scale and in every city - which would reduce car ownership.

>>Meh. At average TGV or Shinkansen speeds, a New York-Chicago straight shot line would take 5 hours, New York-Pittsburgh would take 2:30, and New York-Washington would take 1:30. Unfortunately, to have that would conflict with the goal of subsidizing GM in any way possible.

Why do you need to travel so fast? 12 hours is plenty of time to get to Chicago, 5 to DC, 2 1/2 to Philly. What's the rush.

Graffiti sucks. Only a truly naive liberal can see charm in graffiti.

Next Friday I need to go 60 miles west to Portland to catch a one-way flight to El Paso. To get to PDX I can:

- Drive and leave my car at the airport economy lot at $8.00/day then try to figure out how to retrieve it in a week or two when I come back (not by air).

- Take a cab for $85.00.

- Take a shuttle for $80.00, but only from the other side of the Columbia River.

- Take Amtrak for $15.00 to downtown Portland then the light rail -$2.00 with one change of trains- to the airport. Total time if everything goes off without a hitch: about 3.5 hours. The only problem is that Amtrak makes one local stop per day here at 8:30 am (best considered only a ballpark estimate) and my flight leaves at 3:40 pm.

- More or less ditto for Greyhound.

- Do what everyone does here and get someone to drive me to the airport.

So, yeah, there are public transportation options where I live, but they're more trouble than they're worth. Which situation is actually better than in most the rest of the U.S.

Unfortunately, to have that would conflict with the goal of subsidizing GM in any way possible.

Right. Now tell us how the right wing has always championed public transportation. Then you can tell us how the GOP is the “Party of Lincoln” and how they've always been in the vanguard of the civil rights struggle and that there never was Nixon “Southern strategy”, and Reagan never said anything about "welfare queens", blah, blah.

Graffiti sucks. Only a truly naive liberal can see charm in graffiti.

One overgeneralization regarding politics and aesthetics deserves another: Only truly credulous conservatives can see charm in sentimental, patriotic kitsch.

Daniel: you wish it were 12 hours to Chicago. In the heyday of premium passenger rail, it was 15:45. Today, it's

Cfrost: I know the partisan politics of transit, thank you very much. The GOP has been against public transportation going back to the 1920s, when under Hoover's direction the federal government built the US highway system, bankrupting many privately operated rail systems. And today, Obama and Biden are more pro-transit than most Washington politicians. I just think they'd be even more pro-transit if it weren't for the GM-state merger.

Uh, I mean, "today, it's 19:00."

"Only a truly naive liberal can see charm in graffiti."

Well then I must be speaking as a card-carrying Truly Naive Liberal to say that I have always appreciated the colorful vivacity of this folk art genre, which brightens up many an otherwise drab, dreary, shabby city scene.

I wonder if only a soulless authoritarian could see more charm in an expanse of dull concrete, as if it were the raked gravel in a Japanese garden. That I don't understand. But the RW need to suppress any self-expression and creativity by poor and working people, especially people of color, that isn't RW -- that's an all-too-familiar manifestation of RW depravity, even to a blithe naif as I must be.

those grafitti are truly nasty.

first it's territorial marking. (gang war remember?)

two, a lot of it has connection with death. (Not exactly nice thing to have around)

three, it's ugly. cute for first 2 weeks, after that, it;s blotched spray paints over more spray paints. it's boring too. same pattern and theme over and over.

Daniel

Massive in your face graffiti is really bad. It's an demoralizing assault on poor people for the most part - the rich or those who live in " nice " neighborhoods tend not to have to look at it.

This is a western-world-wide phenomenon I guess. Try taking the train from Haarlem to Amsterdam (in my native Holland). Or even the station in my small hometown. It's paint that's keeping those buildings upright. Derelict out-of-use buildings, blind- or concrete walls make perfect territory for graffitti-'artists'.

Btw, the first time I visited New York was by train. How very European ...

Just to clarify, I flew to Pittsburgh. This photograph is from last week's trip to Eugene for the Skeptic's Toolbox.

If photojournalists had to endorse everything they photographed, we'd be the world's most depraved sickos.

Squashed, not all graffiti is territorial marking. In fact the more artistic-looking graffiti tends to be made by independent people, or by small groups of people who aren't affiliated with gangs and don't engage in violence. The gangs just scribble symbols.

Phantom, I don't know how demoralizing it is. The middle class neighborhood I grew up in had plenty of graffiti anywhere - and it was just scribbles, typically hateful messages directed against some social group. I was actually fascinated by the fact that in the US graffiti was more artistic...

Alon

We kids thought some of the graffiti was fun, but huge numbers of working people thought otherwise.

It was soul destroying for many to see this ugly shit every day on the way to work.

It's good that most of this is gone. There was nothing good about it.

Squashed, not all graffiti is territorial marking. In fact the more artistic-looking graffiti tends to be made by independent people, or by small groups of people who aren't affiliated with gangs and don't engage in violence. The gangs just scribble symbols.

Posted by: Alon Levy | August 16, 2009 at 02:38 PM

It's not much more than "El Roy was here" sign. There isn't some mind blowing abstract expression of aesthetic going on. Wosrt, when one group spray paint over another one, they fight. Then they go to even more hard to reach place etc.

At least these days, grafitti can be removed easily with high pressure cleaning.

If those graffiti artists are so clever, they should go with very high profile project. eg. painting statue of liberty in pink.

Now that's a statement.

Is that a copyright on the Jar? That's some planning ahead.

Can you copyright illegal things?

Alon, sorry to dump on you there. I'd just finished yet another thirteen hour shift and was listening to some right-wing sociopath talk radio. I should know better than to listen to that stuff while reading blogs. Best listened to while splitting firewood or driving nails.

Re: graffitti. It's had a kind of dreary sameness for quite awhile now. An awful lot of chaff has to be winnowed to find a few kernels of anything that can be classified as art.

Like much else, >90% of graffitti is crap.

But it's hard to see it in such a negative light after visiting Pompeii, and seeing ur-graffitti "The theives guild endorses Lucius Plebius for Praetor" No doubt the staid citizens of that era deplored the scribblings of their lower-caste neighbors.

Philly has had a very successful urban mural program that has turned at least some graffittists into more constructive purposes, and it really is great to turn a corner and see a huge vivid mural on the side of a building.

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1649278_1421152,00.html

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