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The battle of the Franklin Street footbridge

Bradley photographically preserved a copy of a note posted to the Franklin Street footbridge over the turnpike and train tracks in Allston. Turlach MacDonagh shows us some of the more literate of the graffiti.

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And neglected.

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If it was in great shape you think they'd respect that and agree it was off limits for tagging?

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Chain link fence, six lane North Harvard St or whatever that is. The Pike is like a big back turned onto everyone passing by.

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They are not misunderstood artists. They are not countercultural heroes. They are not a voice in the darkness. They are self-absorbed and anti-social.

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Taggers are getting a bullshit art education.

They get no skills but an outsized idea of their importance to the world. Great art is dead white man stuff uncool. But the cheap sad stuff they produce, nobody pays money for. So they live in an ugly world and make it uglier.

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The smart thing to do is for the city to pay for real artists to paint murals on flat surfaces like that. Everyone wins and it's cheaper than paying the clean-up crew to white wash it.

But that would make too much sense so we are left paying for an ugly canvas for taggers.

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There are a few in Central Square I like in particular.

My question: how do you preserve murals? What do you do when new graffito appears on the mural? Do you hire the mural artist to maintain the mural over a period of time?

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There are coatings that will repel spray paint, and make it easy to clean without harming the underlying decorated surface.

I even found an art conservation thesis on this!

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These kids could be real artists, they just aren't trained in building and craft trades, and the cheapo builders and planners around here basically have a contemporary aesthetic that comes straight out of Home Depot.

The problem is the flat surfaces. A new cement wall is perfect and characterless, but as soon as it gets chipped or repaired it loses that and becomes junk.

If the builders ornamented and decorated these surfaces in the first place with natural and interesting building materials, made them visually rewarding, then the walls wouldn't work as well for tagging. When they do degrade, they do it gracefully and retain their character.

I'm against the government commissioning art because I think they will always committify it and cut all the risk out. However the big hospitals and universities, corporate developments pretty much do the same thing.

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On that footbridge, taggers have covered the bridge so thoroughly that the sidewalk is fully covered.

Unless you're advocating that sidewalks are fair game for permanent muraling, the problem of disrespectful taggers in that neighborhood is far, far beyond "put a mural on it."

Frankly, it needs an Allston Mike Dukakis to go around with a pressure washer or something, scrubbing the tags off as soon as they appear.

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My own pet peeve is the USPS. They only clean the green storage boxes when complaints are made via 311, in spite of the fact that their own employees use those boxes every day and should be reporting tagging. I have been told that there is a USPS staffer whose sole job is to clean graffiti off mailboxes, so I don't understand why there isn't a regular schedule of visits to all of the mailboxes in the city.

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You've figured out an effective way to report it. So do so.

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I do so, but it's time-consuming and it's not terribly effective - even with reporting via 311, it gets turfed to the USPS and they take months to repaint the boxes.

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I'm glad we have your ruling on what art is good and what art is bad. I didn't know what to think until now. Thank you.

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Do you think kissing these kids ass is helpful?

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Basquiat and Haring say shut your ass up (from the grave)

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Does anyone know whether someone at BPD or any other city agency keeps track of these city blighters? -I find the expression "graffiti artist" much too elevating for most of this crap.

There is this one particular dude who is responsible for a disproportionate amount of blight all over the city. Biking down Dorchester Ave., I see the same tag over and over again from Milton to South Boston. I am quite sure that they are from the same guy who went on a tag rampage on Fields Corner store fronts, Mass Ave. bus stops and on the Copley library earlier this year -among other places.

I called the police about it (twice) and let them know that I had surveillance footage of the guy in action in Fields Corner, but they never followed up on it. I also exchanged an email with a BPL rep. after the Copley library incident. She said that she had forwarded my information to the BPD detective in charge, but no-one ever followed up on that one either. The city cleans some of the tags, and I painted some in my area, but there are still plenty of them left all along Dot. Ave.

I'd love to see this particular dude caught and sentenced to thousands of community service hours in cleaning up the neighborhoods that he has been blighting with passion for the past couple of years. I am even considering offering a significant monetary reward for whoever helps identify this punk, but I can't do it if no city agency cares to stop him. If anyone knows of any good public resource to address this issue, please let us know.

This is what the dude looked like when captured on surveillance camera while defacing multiple small businesses store front in Fields Corner on 1/13/2016:
http://imgur.com/7woY7do

Picture of him leaving the scene riding his bike:
http://imgur.com/3OZKawn

Footage of the guy in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5XV6vYVk4U

Link to other Uhub stories with pictures of similar tags:
http://www.universalhub.com/2016/did-bpl-defacer-tag-fields-corner-first

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Submit this information and data to your city councilor and also detail the calls and contacts to Area "C" PD that has yet to get a response.

Sadly, Area "C" has bigger fish to fry so this is likely not on their radar.

Property owners can get the city to remove such graffiti provided they fill out a form and sign a waiver, but that has to be submitted to the city's graffiti removal department. In the meantime, instances of this can also be submitted to the 311 line or app for attention.

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He has large gauge earrings, Dude! Why don't they listen to him?

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lol.
Prima facie evidence guy is a clown.
Move to Brighton if you can afford.
I'm gauges are so conspicuous even after the fact.
Anyone with them should just go join a circus.

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The "think about the children" argument here is taken to a new level of absurdity. Are we supposed to be worried about a child in the stroller seeing about sexual images? Just how many memories do you have from that time? But then again, we are talking about an individual who thinks "musician" somehow sounds like tough guy. I live in Fenway, where I have to call the cops on "tough" musicians every month. Rather than fighting the cops, they screw the landlord and disappear somewhere where their toughness is more appreciated.

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Yes. Do you want spray paint drawings that look like something out of Hustler in your neighborhood? What would your children/parents/boyfriend/girlfriend/self think of such a place?

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The argument ``"think about the children" is absurd in this case`` met you indisputable logic. The answer "What would your children/parents/boyfriend/girlfriend/self think of such a place?" is going sideways, but I will try answering:
1. As I said earlier, pre-adolescent children have no clue now and will have no memories later.
1'. On the other hand, most pubescent males would love to paint something similar, or to beat the hell out of the painter, regardless of the presence / absence of graffiti. Seeing you so passionate, I suspect you are one of those.
2. My parents and my spouse appreciate my place for my presence, not for presence / absence of graffiti. As we walk out of my place, we stop caring that much. They hate dogs off leash because some of us got bitten. We dislike dog poo because we have to avoid it. But we are not physically attacked by a drawing.
3. What do I think? See above. I don't live there, but I wouldn't be concerned if something, anything, would help keep the rent down. Rents are high in Boston because any moron (me included) pays for luxuries such as "graffiti is covered in a few days" or "rats don't visit apartments above the second floor". In my place, we also have "you can get Fenway's floodlights in your bedroom". Landlords are obliging. Again, anything that can puncture the fake "luxury" is welcome.
If you are discomforted by the sight of a penis drawing, make a note to never visit the Greek rooms at MFA. Nor the African rooms. Nor the Polynesian room. Nor the India rooms. Why, just crawl back under your rock. Or perhaps you "invested" in real estate, an now feign interest on children's feelings?

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these are excellent edits.

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