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View Full Version : Bike Graffiti on Springwater (?)


SwampDonkey
03-07-2007, 03:04 PM
About a week ago I noticed a huge black and white tag on the side of the mausoleum at Oaks Bottom that reads "BIKE! PDX." Does anyone know if this was authorized by the mausoleum owners? If not, it makes me kind of sad to know that another bike rider would do something like this. Isn't tagging something for dead-end gang members with sideways hats?

It's ugly and lame. And embarrassing.

Carl
03-07-2007, 05:23 PM
Sadly, if this city's ever going to get some better graffiti, we'll probably have to expect some stupid tags as collateral damage. This certainly sounds lame and embarassing and deserving of some paint or muriatic acid.

Anecdote: a newbie zoobomber once tagged the watertower at the top of the hill ("3.0"). He learned fast that blatant disrespect for the commons and crappy tags would not be tolerated. It was fixed within 24 hours.

rubbish heap
03-07-2007, 05:49 PM
Isn't Springwater generally out of the public eye? Graffiti has it's place under bridges and alongside obscure train tracks in my opinion, as much as an unaccepted opinion as that may be around here, I don't really care. It's not like painting a marble building downtown. Either way, let the property owner deal with it, it's out of your control.

SwampDonkey
03-09-2007, 02:28 PM
Personally, I don't really think tags are acceptable anywhere, excluding a circumstance where a building owner commissions someone to paint their building in the style of graffiti "artists." Why is it ok to deface surfaces under bridges and along rail right of ways? It's still vandalism, and it's still ugly. And saying this is "out of public view" is just plain wrong. It's a beautiful wetland area frequented by many, many people.

And it's also not just "up to the property owner." I think we as the cycling community have a duty to express our disdain for any and all vandalism and do our best to shame the thug who did this.

rubbish heap
03-10-2007, 12:17 PM
Personally, I don't really think tags are acceptable anywhere, excluding a circumstance where a building owner commissions someone to paint their building in the style of graffiti "artists." Why is it ok to deface surfaces under bridges and along rail right of ways? It's still vandalism, and it's still ugly. And saying this is "out of public view" is just plain wrong. It's a beautiful wetland area frequented by many, many people.

And it's also not just "up to the property owner." I think we as the cycling community have a duty to express our disdain for any and all vandalism and do our best to shame the thug who did this.

1) You're never going to stop graffiti. It's been around since the Roman times and even before. Chicago outlawed spray paint sales in the metropolitan area and has a fast clean up policy - what has it done? Well, there's a lot more violence in the scene now than before, that's one thing.
2) The only people going under bridges and along railways are homeless people and graffiti writers. If a tree falls in the forest and no one around to hear it, does it really fall?
3) Whether or not it's ugly is opinion, obviously there's ugly graffiti and there's aesthetically pleasing graffiti, and if you don't agree with that than you are too far of an extremist.
4) Maybe it's because I've only used to that trail to get to Sellwood, but I've never found it especially nice looking. We have a polluted Williamate river, rusty metal everywhere, old dumpsters, railroad tracks, and unruly bushes. If anything it serves as a defining example of how man has defaced the environment around him with things like economic expansion and growth in a world of limited resources.
5) Actually, according to the law, it is "up to the property owner".
6) You'd be surprised how many people ride bikes and do graffiti.

rainperimeter
03-10-2007, 01:13 PM
2. not true.

4. give me a break.

bay2la
03-12-2007, 02:55 PM
if you dislike graffiti then you are just hating on art. some of the finest art i have ever seen in my life has been "illegal".

steelsreal
03-12-2007, 03:12 PM
Grafitti as art, is a far cry from tagging. Scrawling words or your name on someones property is not "art".

It is vandalism. It is ugly. It requires no skill or imagination.

Hopefully you are able to see the difference?

rubbish heap
03-12-2007, 03:48 PM
Right. I don't disagree with that at all. But what I don't agree with is the main message the thread starter is putting out. Evidently, he knows nothing about graffiti when he thinks everyone that does it is in a gang and wears sideways caps (Fresh Prince Of Bel Air was ten years ago, man, get with the times). Anyways, the person who did whatever BIKE PDX tag that is out there was probably some bored cyclist that saw a near empty can of spray paint out and picked it up and had his fun. Just paint over the damn thing if it offends you so much, but stop trying to call out to the cyclist community to take some active stance against graffiti when 1) there are many people who both ride bikes and do graffiti out there (surprise surprise), and 2) the two movements have absolutely nothing to do with eachother besides #1. Let's focus the efforts on bike advocacy, and if you want to clean up toy tags in your spare time, so be it.

bay2la
03-12-2007, 04:53 PM
it's funny because i think at least 90% of my friends that ride bikes either tag or support graffiti.

you must be in the minority.

BillD
03-12-2007, 05:37 PM
it's funny because i think at least 90% of my friends that ride bikes either tag or support graffiti.

you must be in the minority.

...or perhaps you have a small group of friends.

steelsreal
03-12-2007, 06:22 PM
Again, you are not discerning between tagging and Grafitti art. Ignorant kids with too much time on their hands throwing up wanna-be gang tags or their names is not art.

In some bigger cities the serious Graf artists work to keep this vandalism to a minimum as it destroys the limited social acceptance of people actually creating art and a thriving subculture.

As to how this relates to bike advocacy? If people are putting ugly, poorly done tags up referencing bikes, that is liable to affect outsiders view of the cycling community. I doubt that will be a positive change in their view of us. Especially if it is on their property!

The very fact that you would defend remedial tagging as art, shows that you are not in any way a part of the Grafitti culture.

I would feel quite confident calling you out as a big ol' poser. POSER!

rubbish heap
03-13-2007, 12:04 AM
Again, you are not discerning between tagging and Grafitti art. Ignorant kids with too much time on their hands throwing up wanna-be gang tags or their names is not art.

In some bigger cities the serious Graf artists work to keep this vandalism to a minimum as it destroys the limited social acceptance of people actually creating art and a thriving subculture.

As to how this relates to bike advocacy? If people are putting ugly, poorly done tags up referencing bikes, that is liable to affect outsiders view of the cycling community. I doubt that will be a positive change in their view of us. Especially if it is on their property!

The very fact that you would defend remedial tagging as art, shows that you are not in any way a part of the Grafitti culture.

I would feel quite confident calling you out as a big ol' poser. POSER!


You should use quotes because nobody knows who you're talking to.

Also, ad hominem attacks make you look extremely intelligent.

nishiki
03-13-2007, 08:53 AM
...or perhaps you have a small group of friends.

+1

Tagging is fun when you're 14, if you are beyond that age it s time to grow up.

SwampDonkey
03-13-2007, 09:53 AM
I have no respect for a so-called "artist" who cannot either a) get commissioned to place his or her "art" somewhere in a legal manner, or b) create your "art" in your own space and attempt to sell it or have it placed somewhere.

If someone walks around painting shit on the sides of other people's buildings and calls it "art," then there's absolutely no standard by which to measure what "art" is. An "artist" is not just any hack who can go to Ace hardware and by a can of paint. You think you're graffiti is "art?" Then ask permission to paint it. Simple. Otherwise you're a vandal, and regardless of how good you think your scrawlings are, you're still debasing the public commons.

I say this as someone who just had to remove some shitheads tag from the side of my own building. At the time I chalked it up to "them." To here that some of us do this shit really bothers me. A lot. And I'm not going to go out and paint over this Springwater tag that I originally referred to. As was brought up before, that's up to the property owner. I'm simply saying to stop painting this junk in MY name.

Thanks.

bay2la
03-13-2007, 12:17 PM
i don't know about you but i grew up in san francisco where graffiti culture is huge and almost everyone who did graffiti started out or conitinued to tag for the duration.

i only have 1 friend so i guess you must be right. sucka.

there is nothing you can do about it. you are stuck.

bikey3
03-13-2007, 12:28 PM
I find billboards trying to sell me something everywhere I look far more offensive than tags. Why do corporations and advertising firms have a credible stake in the "public commons" but a biker with some spray paint and a message he deems relevant does not? There is a huge distinction between crappy tags and respectable graf art in my mind as well, but it's really a matter of individual preference.

I can't help it if a property owner is going to see the entire biking community and one tagger as one and the same - if people are that small-minded, I can't waste my time worrying about it too much. If you own a building, you assume the risk of needing to paint over some graffiti every once in a while. It's a fact of life.

nishiki
03-13-2007, 12:53 PM
If you own a building, you assume the risk of needing to paint over some graffiti every once in a while. It's a fact of life.

The day you stop paying your landlord's mortgage, you will understand why we have very little tolerance for ILLEGAL tags and ILLEGAL graffiti.

'till then, yeah it s just a fact of life and I don t see why you would be concerned with it at all.

Donald
03-13-2007, 04:05 PM
[QUOTE=bikey3;3700]I find billboards trying to sell me something everywhere I look far more offensive than tags. [QUOTE]

Interesting point. Here's a sweet little film about the very subject:

http://salon.com/ent/video_dog/misc/2007/03/09/nyc_s_true_graffiti_problem/index.html

BillD
03-13-2007, 05:40 PM
Isn't Springwater generally out of the public eye? Graffiti has it's place under bridges and alongside obscure train tracks in my opinion, as much as an unaccepted opinion as that may be around here, I don't really care. It's not like painting a marble building downtown. Either way, let the property owner deal with it, it's out of your control.

Out of the public eye?

Not at all. That area is a wildlife refuge. It is owned by the City and maintained by the Park Bureau. There is a secluded trail at the base of the bluff that is a quiet walk in the woods for the folks living in the area. There are benches to sit on and relax in the company of the birds and the wild critters. There is a significant Great Blue Heron rookery in the bottoms. Untold thousands of gallons of blackberry jam have been made from the bushes between the bluff and the (recent) Springwater Trail. Children have gone there to fish and chase frogs for many years. It is the Publics backyard and Park and they see your vandalism when they go there to enjoy the outdoors. It is one of the features that makes Portland what it is.

No, it's not a marble building downtown.

It is a Mausoleum. It is where folks have placed the remains of their departed loved ones. It's where they go to remember days that will never return, to place some fresh flowers in the vase, to say goodbye yet another time.

It is not an easel, it's a cemetery.... have some respect.

bikey3
03-13-2007, 07:28 PM
The day you stop paying your landlord's mortgage, you will understand why we have very little tolerance for ILLEGAL tags and ILLEGAL graffiti.

'till then, yeah it s just a fact of life and I don t see why you would be concerned with it at all.

The day I can afford property, if it ever comes, hopefully will not make me unable to see things through any other eyes than that of a property owner. Graffiti doesn't make me enraged - sometimes it's beautiful, even when often it's ugly. If someone graffitied my building and I didn't like it, I'd paint over it. But maybe I would still hope that one day there would be something sweet spray painted on the side of my building and I wouldn't feel the urge to get rid of it. That's probably the kind of property owner I would be, one that would not get terribly bent out of shape about the whole thing.

rubbish heap
03-13-2007, 08:41 PM
Maybe it's a generational thing, because I see a few businesses owned by younger people where the same thing seems to fly. Graffiti put up by people that have been in the game for years and have developed skill seems to fly on their businesses, while the stuff that toys with 2 weeks of experience mysteriously disappears overnight.

BillD
03-14-2007, 12:15 AM
Maybe it's a generational thing, because I see a few businesses owned by younger people where the same thing seems to fly. Graffiti put up by people that have been in the game for years and have developed skill seems to fly on their businesses, while the stuff that toys with 2 weeks of experience mysteriously disappears overnight.

Graffiti has been around since the successors to the Neanderthals made their cave paintings in France. It's acceptance by the general population has always depended on the level of artistry and the location. As you have noted, some property owners will retain unsolicited artworks if they are pleased with the visual message while gang tags are removed as promptly as dog piss on the fencepost.

The Lovejoy Columns (http://www.jamesmharrison.com/lovejoycolumns) survived for 48 years after being placed on public property without permission by a local artist. They were accepted by the community at large as an acceptable display of art. They were not, for the most part, seen as vandalism or a nuisance. A misguided attempt by a City of Portland bureau to remove them was thwarted by a low level (second rung from the bottom) city employee who is, himself, an accomplished artist.

Not all who paint are artists. Some are only trying to say, "hey look at me". Some are pissing on someone else's fence. It is ultimately up to the property owner to decide what goes or stays but the artist has to exercise some restraint in selecting a site for the art. It must fit in with its surroundings, be approved of (not necessarily in advance) by the property owner and not convey a message of disrespect.

The Lovejoy Columns meets all three of these criteria. The tag on the Portland Memorial Mausoleum meets none, in my opinion. I have no idea whether the property owner agrees with me.

I also think that the graffiti on the mausoleum conveys a negative message about cyclists to the residents of the immediate neighborhood, most of whom do not ride.

dhormann
03-19-2007, 11:04 AM
it's funny because i think at least 90% of my friends that ride bikes either tag or support graffiti.

you must be in the minority.

Apparently 90% or your friends are stupid, anti-social, petty crooks, not to mention what that says about you for associating with them. Do you let them tag your house? How about your parent's house? I'm sorry but you and your friends are completely off base on this. Grafitti when placed on property you don't own, or have permission to tag, is vandalism, anti-social and criminal.

I know a guy that lives near me that put up a nice new fence around his yard so his small children could play outside without fear of wandering into traffic. He paid several thousand dollars to have the fence erected. Within a week it was tagged. He promptly cleaned if off and it was tagged again. He put up lights (several hundred more dollars) to discourage the taggers, it has helped, but he still gets tagged occasionally.

It is completely anti-social to think of other's hard earned property as simply a canvas for your dubious art.

bay2la
03-19-2007, 02:36 PM
ok, well i guess i will stop supporting the beautiful art form and pass the word along to my friends. thanks for showing me the light.

nishiki
03-19-2007, 05:00 PM
ok, well i guess i will stop supporting the beautiful art form and pass the word along to my friends. thanks for showing me the light.

+1 Yes please do just that.

rubbish heap
03-19-2007, 05:11 PM
Apparently 90% or your friends are stupid, anti-social, petty crooks, not to mention what that says about you for associating with them. Do you let them tag your house? How about your parent's house? I'm sorry but you and your friends are completely off base on this. Grafitti when placed on property you don't own, or have permission to tag, is vandalism, anti-social and criminal.

I know a guy that lives near me that put up a nice new fence around his yard so his small children could play outside without fear of wandering into traffic. He paid several thousand dollars to have the fence erected. Within a week it was tagged. He promptly cleaned if off and it was tagged again. He put up lights (several hundred more dollars) to discourage the taggers, it has helped, but he still gets tagged occasionally.

It is completely anti-social to think of other's hard earned property as simply a canvas for your dubious art.

most people that write graffiti stay off people's houses / cars. it's the beginners who have 2 weeks under their belt that do that type of thing.

NEPcyclistic
03-19-2007, 07:42 PM
Definition of graffiti is:

Graffiti = drawings or writings that is scratched, painted, or sprayed on walls or other surfaces in public places.

The definition of art is:

Art = the creation of beautiful or thought-provoking works, for example in painting, music or writing. 2. beautiful or thought-provoking works produced through creative activity.


So by definition, graffiti is not art. Not to me.

Oh btw the sources of those definitions came from, "Websters American Dicitionary."

endform
03-19-2007, 11:19 PM
If you think art can be defined in two sentences you have a pretty narrow understanding of it.

And wouldn't the piece on the springwater fall under category 2 since it seems to have provoked a lot around here?

rubbish heap
03-20-2007, 12:23 AM
Definition of graffiti is:

Graffiti = drawings or writings that is scratched, painted, or sprayed on walls or other surfaces in public places.

The definition of art is:

Art = the creation of beautiful or thought-provoking works, for example in painting, music or writing. 2. beautiful or thought-provoking works produced through creative activity.


So by definition, graffiti is not art. Not to me.

Oh btw the sources of those definitions came from, "Websters American Dicitionary."

your argument's black and white tendencies reveal a lot about it's shortcomings. it's not so simple as a=b therefore b=a, it's a lot more multifaceted and at times blurred in boundary lines.

jami
03-20-2007, 12:32 AM
it is strange to see so many cyclists defending not just artistic graffiti (there is some, but it's rare), but apparently scrawly-ass ugly tags, too. is the bike pdx graffiti on the side of a "mausoleum" as in the final resting site of someone's grandparents mausoleum? that's just so darned classy!

bikey3, i love it when people like the california department of corrections (http://www.zoomzap.com/scripts/zcards/choose-eng.php?cat=4) improve the ads corporations wanna force on everyone.

not all graffiti is bad. but most of it is. if only stupid little shits could tell the difference between themselves and banksy.

nishiki
03-20-2007, 08:23 AM
Rubbish Heap, here is an idea for you:

Leave me your bike and I spray some 'art' on it without your consent.
Would that make you upset or would you think it's cool?

NEPcyclistic
03-20-2007, 03:08 PM
Actually, i can take alot from those two sentinces. Graffiti is not art, nor is the gang taggings on buildings, homes, fences, commercial properties etc..

I know what art is, and have a college education. I will hold my college education to anyone who spends there time defacing personal property. If you want to get into an argument about art, I will show up any time, any place. The fact is, graffiti is against the law, and who ever defaces public property, and gets caught, I challenge them to use the same argument in court.

But Your Honor, its just "art."

right if graffiti is art, why do people spend so much money on the shit; when all we really have to do, is take a picture of a black scribble that took no thought, and artistic creativity.

And i didn't come up with the definition. I found it in the dictionary. Those two sentinces state a lot. I guess some just can't see it. Infact, i remember some exercises in college, where I had to write whole papers from one sentince, breaking it down. Of course sometimes, writing less is more.

If graffiti was an exceptable art form, it would be legal, but it's not.

NEPcyclistic
03-20-2007, 03:11 PM
And wouldn't the piece on the springwater fall under category 2 since it seems to have provoked a lot around here?

No............ it doesn't.

bikey3
03-22-2007, 04:18 AM
I'm not entirely sure how the webster's definitions contradict each other - they even contain the same word: Paint. No doubt tags that amount to little more than scrawled territorial pissing don't fall into the artistic category. But artists who defiantly hold up a finger to establishment and boundaries can be the most revolutionary and moving. I've seen many graffiti pieces that are thought provoking and overflow with creativity and aesthetic appeal for me. graffiti as an art form is a well-established subculture (in other cities much more so than Portland) from the property-less, youthful, urban sect. Writing all of it off as disrespectful bullsh** from the hands of punk kids with idle hands is an assault on hip-hop and a portion of your community. In many places it's thriving as an art form and it's style is frequently emulated in legal artistic endeavors.
What does graffiti really represent? More attractive building facades, greenery and landscaping rather than stark walls, more sanctioned urban public art forums for young people, better artistic programs in public schools, less disconnect among community members - particularly between young and old, and more opportunity for young people to become involved in and more knowledgable about the neighborhoods they live in are true grafitti deterrents and I'm sure there's more. Hopefully these things are not impossibilities, but until more progressive attitudes towards graffiti and the rejection of convention it symbolizes are fostered it ain't goin anywhere, like it or not. It's certainly unfair to the property owner, but graffiti is an indicator of what inner cities often are: places where younger and poorer people are likely to feel unsupported, and this sense of impermanence reflects back to the impermanence of a graf masterpiece or an ugly tag.

Perhaps a more clear indication that the section of the springwater corridor is a mausoleum, or even just that it's an area people care about would have prevented the graffiti, I don't know.

bikey3
03-22-2007, 06:55 AM
here is an idea for you:

Leave me your bike and I spray some 'art' on it without your consent.
Would that make you upset or would you think it's cool?

If someone spray painted my bike quite possibly I would be upset, depending on the nature of it. Maybe I would be inspired to repaint my bike and give it a new look and be a happier person, who knows. But this would not stop me from cruising along on said bike and having my day brightened by spotting some dope graffiti along the way. Ironic, maybe. But experiencing a small act of vandalism would not shake me from my position that graffiti is an expression of voicelessness. When people are rendered voiceless in so many ways, their feelings of being stifled are bound to start popping up in forms of which those who make the rules do not approve. I would still think many aspects of graffiti are cool. And I'm far from a petty crook, a vandal, or antisocial.

fetishridr
03-22-2007, 02:49 PM
it says ride a bike. on the side of a business. you can see it traveling westbound at about e 14th and ankeny. this ridiculous. i suppose next we'll see 14 years with tight jeans and fixies spraypainting their area codes all over the place.
who ever is doing this, stop, you're a pathetic miscreant. if you want to paint get commissioned.

mizake
03-24-2007, 11:22 AM
oh so now this is about people who ride fixed gears? don't be a douche.

rubbish heap
03-24-2007, 02:42 PM
Rubbish Heap, here is an idea for you:

Leave me your bike and I spray some 'art' on it without your consent.
Would that make you upset or would you think it's cool?

depends on the caliber of your art.

fetishridr
03-25-2007, 06:03 PM
i ride a fixy around town. sorry, i was being self deprecating to a certain extent, but, i dont agree with tagging buildings to promote cycling in portland. it just gives those people of a higher socioeconomic status (who tend to drive all those god damn H2's around) more ammo for the anti bike sentiment prevelent among conservatives.

you have to admit it though. a gang of 14 year olds with really tight pants and fixed years spray painting their area codes all over portland would be so ridiculously dumb that it would transcend stupidity into "coolness". we could all ride around town and give props to the 503's and the 360's on our way to work.

knary
03-25-2007, 09:04 PM
Perhaps we should "tag" their bikes with a brick or hammer and see how they feel about the destruction of someone else's property. I would never actually condone such an action, but it is what they are asking us to accept from them.

Bjorn
03-26-2007, 12:26 AM
I recently read about some old guy who goes around painting over graffitti on buildings that do not belong to him and without permission. The cops are actually trying to track him down because they want him to stop for various reasons, including that he often doesn't match the paint well at all and makes cleaning up the graffitti more difficult for the property owner. If you want to clean it up you should contact the owner first, they may have put it up themselves or they may want it cleaned up in a specific way.

Bjorn

rubbish heap
03-26-2007, 11:23 AM
Perhaps we should "tag" their bikes with a brick or hammer and see how they feel about the destruction of someone else's property.

Painting something and demolishing it are not the same; your argument has no basis in logic. The other guy that said "how would you feel if I painted your bike" said it a hell of a lot better.

knary
03-26-2007, 12:37 PM
Painting something and demolishing it are not the same; your argument has no basis in logic. The other guy that said "how would you feel if I painted your bike" said it a hell of a lot better.

When someone tags my property or someone elses, they damage it. It often isn't "just a coat of paint" away from returning it to its state before the vandal made his "art". Not only do they damage the property, they damage the neighborhood. Come up to NE Alberta and tell us that the graffiti, sometimes on top of a hard made mural, makes this a better place to live.

nishiki
03-26-2007, 03:08 PM
Painting something and demolishing it are not the same; your argument has no basis in logic. The other guy that said "how would you feel if I painted your bike" said it a hell of a lot better.

Now you are just trolling rubbish heap.

endform
03-26-2007, 03:28 PM
Come up to NE Alberta and tell us that the graffiti, sometimes on top of a hard made mural, makes this a better place to live.

For all the rich yuppies who forced everyone else out right?

knary
03-26-2007, 03:42 PM
For all the rich yuppies who forced everyone else out right?

:rolleyes:
Ah, yes, the tired whine about the evil gentrification, usually from people that moved into the area less than a decade ago. Guess what, unless you grew up here, YOU are part of what you so love to bitch about. People bitched when the area was riddled with serious crime, with boarded up shops and vacant houses no one would buy. Now they bitch that it's got too many hoity toity dress shops. Get a grip. I can't help but laugh at the hipsters when they bitch about the so-called yuppies. When I talk to long time residents, they love most of the changes. They love that they can walk down the street without fear. They love that they're seeing kids and strollers again. They don't like the traffic, and don't like the drunk and loud idiots that frequent the *new* places like the Nest.

So you think tagging churches, the community cycle center, locally owned businesses and, too often, private property is ok? My neighbor, a man surviving on disability, hand built a retaining wall with stone he quarried himself. A few months ago, one of the "artists" (around here, often gang members), decided that his hard work needed improving. Too bad you can't just paint over stone.

endform
03-26-2007, 03:50 PM
Well I hear this doesn't happen in the West Hills, maybe you should move there. It's a fact of urban life, get over it. Right or wrong you live in the city and that's just going to be something you have to deal with.

knary
03-26-2007, 03:56 PM
Yep. You do. And part of dealing with it is doing what you can to stop it - including telling people that might think it's innocent prickish fun that it isn't. To follow your logic, we should ignore all crime.

rubbish heap
03-26-2007, 09:23 PM
I already gave the example of Chicago and it's efforts to stop graffiti. The scene has grown increasingly violent there as a result, and it's not even non-existant even when you can't buy spray paint in the metropolitan area, and they have fast buffing policies.

You guys really fail to see the bigger issues at hand. Who does the majority of graffiti that you see in the city? No, it's not gang members (if you can't discern gang graffiti between other graffiti, you don't even have the right to post in this thread as far as I'm concerned, because you don't know what you're talking about). No, it's not 14 year olds - although they tend to do the stupid, nasty stuff that ends up on people's house fences and churches (feel free to write 'toy' next to their stuff, they'll freak out). The people who do the majority of graffiti in the city are in their twenties, the people who can drink legally and have no curfews. The way they got there came about from a variety of larger social factors, but I could tell you one of the biggest would be the deteriorating nature of our public schools. Rich kids from the suburbs get into graffiti for 2 weeks before they get bored, poor kids from the city get into graffiti, alcoholism, shoplifting, and other petty crimes in high school and stick with it until they go to prison when they're 27 and near homeless.

bikey3
03-27-2007, 08:25 AM
:rolleyes:
Ah, yes, the tired whine about the evil gentrification, usually from people that moved into the area less than a decade ago. Guess what, unless you grew up here, YOU are part of what you so love to bitch about. People bitched when the area was riddled with serious crime, with boarded up shops and vacant houses no one would buy. Now they bitch that it's got too many hoity toity dress shops. Get a grip. I can't help but laugh at the hipsters when they bitch about the so-called yuppies. When I talk to long time residents, they love most of the changes. They love that they can walk down the street without fear. They love that they're seeing kids and strollers again. They don't like the traffic, and don't like the drunk and loud idiots that frequent the *new* places like the Nest.

So you think tagging churches, the community cycle center, locally owned businesses and, too often, private property is ok? My neighbor, a man surviving on disability, hand built a retaining wall with stone he quarried himself. A few months ago, one of the "artists" (around here, often gang members), decided that his hard work needed improving. Too bad you can't just paint over stone.

I do live in the Alberta area, and have for over 10 years. I did grow up here. I've also attended several neighborhood association meetings with members of the black community are present; their primary concerns regarded gentrification and police brutality, not graffiti. If you really think gentrification is not an issue, you're not on the same page with many people who live in your neighborhood. But sooner or later they'll be in Gresham , making more room for dress shops so then it won't matter.

I don't think all graffiti is art; some of it can be. But I do think graffiti is symptomatic of larger, underlying problems and I'm concerned with those problems rather than getting pissed about the outward manifestation of graffiti. I can appreciate *some* graffiti. It's not a lack of understanding for the value of private property that gives me this attitude. But apparently, for choosing to look at this dynamic issue in a different way than the majority means I deserve to have my bike smashed with a hammer to teach me a lesson. That's great.

knary
03-27-2007, 09:02 AM
We may have been to the same meetings. Gentrification is an issue, but, in my humble opinion, one confused and often overblown.

People can be driven out by raising rents, but homeowners are making a personal choice about selling. There's no blame to be cast in someone making a choice to sell a house or someone else, in many cases, scraping together what they can to move into a naighborhood. We moved here some years ago. When we were shopping for our first home the choices were few for us. Are we yuppies pushing out the good honest people? I don't see us that way, but I suppose to some we might be. Hell, I do silly things like spend money on bicycles and landscaping. We're poorer than most, but richer than some. I'm an artist, my wife is a teacher and musician.

As I understand it, most of the rents going up are being raised by landlords that have owned many of the homes and buildings for a long time. In other words, they're local individuals, not evil yuppies bent on the destruction of this community.

I went to a meeting where a woman bitched that the shops opening aren't for them, that they're, as mentioned before, hoity toity dress shops and the like. I understand her complaint, but have little sympathy. What opens up is driven by two things - the market, and what an individual or group of individuals is willing to put their own sweat into. If you go to one of those dress shops, you'll usually find locally made clothing designed locally being sold in a locally owned store.

Change, as we all know, doesn't always happen the way we'd like. I live down the street from what was once Joe's Place. I miss it. There was some activity outside of it that deserved police attention, but otherwise it was a positive piece of our community. Its replacement isn't.

My biggest hope for the Alberta area is that we as a community can ensure that this remains a neighborhood first, a commercial district second.

Lastly, at a recent neighborhood meeting, the local police gave a presentation. We learned that out of the 380 uniformed officers in Portland, only 30 work the northeast precinct - from I-5 on the west to 92nd(?) on the east, from the river south to Halsey. The local distrust of the police (much deserved in too many cases) and the shortage of man power can't help make this a safer place to live and, we hope, raise our children.

I'm babbling. Time for some tea.