I don’t know of anyone in the world who loves parking—except maybe Lorraine Baines—but that’s not exactly the kind of parking I’m talking about here…
I’m talking about the hassle of cruising up and down the rows of a Wegmans parking lot, trying to squeeze in next to the hummer who decided he needed an extra couple of spaces, fighting the nine other drivers who won’t even entertain the thought of walking an extra twenty feet to pay $5 for a bottle of water.
Do me a favor. If you’re at home, step outside for a moment and take a good, long look at your driveway and garage (Don’t worry, the Internet will still be here when you get back). If you don’t have a driveway or garage, step outside and catch me a Charmander!
Did you do it? Did you stare intently at your driveway/garage situation? Great! Now, think about it for a moment and answer honestly: Does your car have a bigger bedroom than you do? Seriously. What percentage of the space that you own/rent/occupy is dedicated solely to vehicular storage? Your car isn’t paying rent. Why does it get the biggest room in the house?!
What else could you do with that space the garage sits on? A jam space for your band? Art studio? Game room? Greenhouse? The possibilities are many…
On Facebook last week I shared an old photo of Rochester’s iconic Mercury statue as it was being removed from its original perch atop the Kimball Tobacco Factory in 1951. The factory was demolished to make way for the War Memorial and the statue sat in storage until the Lawyers Cooperative (Aqueduct Building) became his new home in 1973.
Fast forward to June 2011; the 21 foot tall, 700 pound statue gets a thorough inspection for signs of wear and a good restoration. The following photos were taken by Wes Plant during that checkup. And they show Mercury in detail you’ve probably never seen before…
In 2013 I gave myself a photo assignment: Take 13 snapshots of 13 different subjects. Early on, someone suggested I do a series of traffic signal boxes – you know, the ones with the murals painted on them? At first I thought the idea was a little too obvious. I also thought many of the murals to be a little cliché. But soon I began to notice these things everywhere I looked. And then I felt like I couldn’t not do it.
While they may not be master works of art, these murals are definitely a unique part of our landscape. Some of them are kind of folksy; some are tongue-in-cheek; and many tell a story about the neighborhood. So, with the help of my friend Nicholas Swann , here are 13 of our favorite murals on traffic signal boxes…
Oh, and you’ll notice an extra one at the end. I’ve decided to paint one in my own neighborhood. You can tell me what you think…
Recently I asked, “Who is Spaceman?” This guy’s work has been showing up in unexpected places around town for a while now. Although I’m still not sure who the guy in the space suit is, the actual artist did come forward. And I had a chance to sit down with him at Boulder Coffee in the South Wedge. Among other things I asked him what he thought about people who call his work “trashy” or “criminal.” With the Geico Gecko watching us from the billboard across the street, he pointed to it and said, “Would you rather see a Geico ad at every four-way stop? I’m just trying to make people smile.”
For two hours we talked about his work, what motivates him, life in Rochester, keeping our waterways clean, philosophy, Tibetan monks, and other stuff. For obvious reasons he wishes to remain anonymous, so I’ll refer to him in this interview as “Spaceman Artist”. Here’s a taste of our conversation…
A few months ago this woman caught the attention of motorists on I-490 near downtown Rochester. The image immediately made me think of early works by Banksy or Shepard Fairey , artists who catapulted themselves into pop culture stardom by plastering their towns with often graphic and politically-charged poster art. I wondered, was this Rochester artist making a political/social statement? Or is this half-nude character with the peace sign pasty simply a random piece of visual titillation?
A few people on Facebook claimed to know the artist, but my attempts to track him (or her) down were fruitless. Then yesterday a friend* of mine spotted a similar image stuck to a 490/590 support column at the Can of Worms interchange…
Often times while I’m doing research for a story, I’ll stumble upon something new and get completely sidetracked. Today I was digging for information on the Academy Building when I found the image above. It’s a shot of the Rochester Savings Bank building located at the corner of West Main and Fitzhugh. The Academy Building is to the immediate left of the bank. But forget the buildings for now. Do you see that strange little man standing in the lower left corner of the photo? That was actually a drinking fountain named Cogswell…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.