On one Cambridge building, the eyes have it

Colorful building in Cambridge

Chris Rich shows us how a little paint perks up what would otherwise be a completely forgettable little box of a building on Columbia Street in Cambridge.

Copyright Chris Rich. Tagged as universalhub on Flickr.



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        a week before someone defaces this.

        I think it has been there for quite a while.

        Cambridge is a surprisingly civilized place and there are murals everywhere.

        https://flic.kr/p/o2BGYt was painted when I worked with the middle in 1990.

        Not a lot of damage. Hell, the child in Nabils arm, Lilly, is a woman now.

        Another foolish crackpot theory I have is that when the people think their community is basically okay, a kind of ethic rises out of goodwill.

        Cambridge may be strange and complicated but to most it is fair. Great cops,decent city gov, etc.

        And when people take a place under their wing out of this kind of appreciation you get fairly laudable public conduct.

        What if Boston just rubs its importance in the faces of the so called underclass to a point where push back happens?

        Some Chinese guy summed it up as, "In the best forms of leadership, it seems as if the people did it themselves."


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        there are murals all over Boston that are not vandalized. Cambridge is not as unique as it thinks it is.

        Why it's the new and improved

        ..anon a meh.

        My god, can you just imagine an Anon a meh Anonymous where people who are stuck saying meh go to meetings to confess the hold saying meh has over them?

        Also too, I sorta suspected Boston and other places have found a way to have nice public things.

        I was just having fun with some other sect of Meh-ist clutching pearls over imaginary street art vandals.

        A typical U Hub comment stream is likely to involve navigating the various carps and concerns of several conflicting meh floggers.

        Good meh management skills are thus central to effective rebuttal with a touch of humor.

        I have no idea

        Cambridge has some kind of arts council deal to reimburse businesses for signage and painting.

        I wonder if this also an aspect in Somerville.

        The budget would probably be pretty fat given what conventional building painters charge.

        I'm just going over my photo inventory of public visuals both street/graffiti and funded things.

        It would be great to figure out place for it where people can explore it at leisure if interested.

        I know. Maybe work out google map art location pics. There you go... free idea.

        I'll putz aroound and see if it's doable.

        One side of Harborwalk along Fan Pier has tiny trains in a bronze piece to show what the place was.

        There are lots of those 'mnemonic' things like that tell the story of place.

        I imagined them as an option in the 80s so it's cool to see an idea come alive.

        And it's great to have this kind of crowd source curating and identification.


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        Caleb has gained well-deserved respect amongst graffiti writers, and is known as the real deal. If this gets defaced, it will not have been by an actual graffiti writer. Although it's still possible that a newcomer or random person defaces it. Public murals by BS "street artists" are the ones that get defaced. Murals by respected writers stay intact. The general public just doesn't know which is which. But the vandals do.


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        While I don't like to seem like I don't appreciate art, regardless of the content, there's little that differentiates wealthy towns/neighborhoods from less wealthy areas than murals. I don't think there are any in Wellesley, or West Newton, or Milton, for example, but every urban area seems to have one or more. I get the idea, "a splash of color to brighten up this drab place" but it doesn't work. Beacon Hill is urban and densely populated. I don't see a mural in Louisberg Square, however. The residents add the "splash" of color to the bricks, etc, with flowers, flags, and the like, they don't paint every brick wall with a mural, they plant something, or decorate the outside of their homes. This wall could use a flowering vine of some sort or other, maybe some ivy.

        I'm just going through

        ..the very diverse inventory of public art I've found.

        Beacon Hill through downtown waterfront is dense with high end funded art. These mural things are part of low budget,(formerly) residential communities.

        It's all about context.

        There has been a growth of public art everywhere since the 1% for art programs began. There are sculpture gardens, My god I just noticed I have a fat friggin Mobile file.. mobiles!!!

        And I'm a music guy. This is just a fun thing to do. I also think I solved the Google maps location problem.

        I'm no curator but as I try and categorize this raw mess from Lincoln to Lawrence the array of styles is very diverse.

        Eastport Park is a very elaborate sculpture garden over in Seaport.

        Believe it or not, there's probably even interesting stuff in Swellesley. Babson has a few items along the Charles River Link Trail and then there is Wellesley College.

        The graffiti scene is a whole other universe. I haven't even started to make sense of that file yet.

        It is more of the subtle but sublime stuff that the hype monkeys and boosters routinely overlook but it really does numbers when I hoist it on G plus.

        Was something wrong with the

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        Was something wrong with the mural that was there before (I think it had a globe in it)? Or was it just time for a change?

        Siding change?

        I only began noticing the variety of public art when I began looking for interesting photo options.

        Some things may be ephemeral.

        Boston can have nice things too.

        As an inveterate leg puller I like to pretend I'm dimmer than I am despite the effort it takes.

        And so here's a bit of proof that Boston also manages to have public art stuff without vandal hate slobber problems.

        Here we have schoolkid stuff along the East Boston Greenway.


        Similar efforts lurk on flat surfaces along the Neponset Greenway.