Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Here is a cut n' paste of a letter I sent to the Editor of the Free Press this morning regarding a story on painting over a "graffiti-laced" 91 Albert Street (Mondragon cafe and books). I'm just getting lazier and lazier when it comes to updating here, I apoligize.

Re: Angry councillor wants graffiti removed.

It is absurd that councillor Mike Pagtakhan and the Exchange District BIZ would go after a building that plays such a large role in the area's vibrancy, just for having a few graffiti tags on their facade. Does the BIZ have nothing else to do? Is there not bigger problems facing Pagtakhan's ward? They might say the graffiti tags on 91 Albert are an eyesore, but I wonder how many of the people of all ages and economic groups that enjoy lunch at the Mondragon or get their bikes fixed at the Natural Cycle, are actually bothered by the graffiti.

Several years ago, when most people were still afraid to walk in the Exchange District, 91 Albert and it's many uses were a hub of activity day and evening. Today, the building still serves as a vital part of an increasingly busy District.

A busy cafe with many people coming and going, and friendly people sitting on the steps does more to revitalize a street and a neighborhood than any coat of paint could ever do. If councillor Pagtakhn and the BIZ actually wanted a vibrant Exchange District, they would be working with the people at 91 Albert Street, not against them. Sadly, it seems, they care more for an Orwellian vision of a sterilized, controlled, and boring city.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I eat my lunch at Fyxx next door. The tags piss me off everytime I see them. Artistic graf is one thing, tags are just crap. I couldn't care less if the vegans, anarchists and university labour profs like them, they're an eyesore.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having lived in West Broadway, I was constantly aware of graf everyday. The graf was gang 'tags' stacking out territory. Most people don't see any difference between 'gang tags' and any other form of graf. They see it as vandalism disguised as 'self expression'. Remember the 'broken window' theory.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a hell of a lot of "eyesores" around downtown, around Winnipeg, much more so than a few tags on a PRIVATE building.

If the owner wanted to paint his building purple and neon pink, would there be such a fuss? No, because it's not 'vandalism'. Where's the difference, though, really? Shall we become more dictatorial in how private buildings are regulated?

Nick

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Connie said...

Perception can be reality. If people perceive tags to be connected with gangs, they will be concerned about visiting an area and hence, stay away. So much for revitalization.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I think if the owner of the building wanted to paint it neon pink the entire situation would be reversed. The same people who are defending the rights of taggers wouold be decrying the damage to the Exchange District's character. And the same people worried about the tags would be defending the owner's right to paint as he sees fit.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if raglepuss likes tagging, and the essence of what it embodies, he should have no problem in letting us know where he lives. I would like the taggers to show their appreciation by tagging his home, inside and out. Hypocrisy at it’s best. It all fine until it’s in your backyard.

Although if a silly property owner says “leave it”, then he will just carry the burden of that decision, e.g. An almost empty building.

The majority of us sane folk tend to think that tagging is slightly above a dog pissing on a tree marking its’ territory, like an animal.

Just an opinion.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taggers and graffiti artists are a fact of life. They've been here for awhile, and won't go away because some don't like them. As a matter of fact, the opposite is probably true...they'll be around because some people don't like them and the contoversy continues.
Only art snobs deny that they are art and a form of artistic expression.
Perhaps we should examine our displeasure with this art and look at changing our attitudes in this regard. I'm 59 yrs. old, so don't discount what I say because you may think that I'm a tagger myself.
Perhaps embrass this as a form of 'modernism'. Just a thought.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the let the taggers now where you reside so you can embrace thier art, first hand.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point here isn't whether or not you like graffiti. It's whether the owners of 91 Albert should be forced to remove the tags on their building. It's wrong for graf writers to paint on buildings without permission, but it's OK for the BIZ?

—Dallas Hansen

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Dallas! You just gave me an idea. I need my house painted next summer so...a couple of tags and a call to the graffiti police should do the trick.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should start tagging cars and bikes too, why stop at buildings. Hell why not spray paint people walking down the street, thats art aint it?

Get a freaking job kid. This way you will appreciate how hard people have to sweat and break their balls, and why they get upset when others destroy thier things.

10:59 PM  

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