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February 22, 2004

September 11 Memorial

of the mural On the side of Duke's bar, in Bloomfield on S. Millvale Ave., there's a small mural commemorating September 11. I don't know when the dead branches and graffiti were added. Perhaps some time after the adjoining gas station shut. My girlfriend points out that this could be a metaphor for how the country's patriotism has faded since the initial surge after 9/11.

of the building Here's a picture of the front of the building. Note the sign promising "no crap on tap".

Click on the images for larger versions.

February 08, 2004

Van customizing shop

of the van shop mural In Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood, there's an old van customizing shop whose windows have been boarded up. Usually, that'd make a building uglier than a pig in a mincing machine, but in this case, someone took the time to paint over the boards with Charming Scenes of Urban Life (tm).

The van shop's sign alone is a classic. It evokes an era (before my time, thankfully) when vans roamed the earth unchallenged and unmocked. Note the text on the sign offering installation of "flares, spoilers, & sunvisors", "custom grills", and of course, "captain chairs". In case anyone wants to call the number on the sign to inquire about getting their van customized, I'm pretty sure that this place is in the 412 area code.

By the way, this building is on Penn Ave., near Main St., and right across from Tram's Kitchen. If you haven't been to Tram's, you're missing great Vietnamese food. Especially the fresh rolls, which are the best I've ever had anywhere (disclaimer: I've never been to Vietnam).

As always, click on the picture for a larger version.

February 01, 2004

South side Goodwill

picture of the goodwill mural

Driving on Carson St. (on Pittsburgh's south side) today, I noticed a mural on the side of the Goodwill building near 27th St. This area is a few blocks beyond the "trendy" part of Carson Street, and there hasn't been much there beyond the Goodwill and a coffee shop. But recently, gigantic office complexes have begun sprouting. If those buildings manage to take off (not a sure thing given Pittsburgh's glut of office space), I wonder how long it'll be before Goodwill is gentrified off the block.

Click on the image for a larger version of the mural.