September 24, 2002

Community Noticeboards

I never really thought about freeways and pedestrian bridges much until I started using one (well, one and a half, if you count the freeway-like bit of the Greensborough Bypass). But those pedestrian bridges are really just great big community noticeboards. The current topic on the bridge over Greensborough Bypass is "Happy 21st Jason". It's not too complex, and it lacks the pathos of last month's relationship drama at the eastern end of the Metropolitan ring road. That particular exchange of banners was a three-act love story with a sorry end - "Tracy I Love You", "Tracy Come Back", "Goodbye Pete!". I wonder how Pete reacted, hurtling downhill with that in his eyes.

Today's other odd public message was a literary allusion. An Audi A4 passed me today, bearing personalised plates - "AHAB". Just as I was wondering if the driver was Mr Melville, a Porsche cruised up behind Ahab - a 911 Turbo, with a whale-tail. It's a sign. Today is not the day for obsessing about one idea.

posted on September 24, 2002 at 08:34 AM by darren.

And then there was "I'LL ALWAYS MISS YOU EILEEN (heart)SD" on Burwood Highway. I used to imagine the tearful latter-day Romeo having written that and jumped.

posted on September 24, 2002 3:06 PM by acb.

With Morrissey in town soon, I wonder if we'll see the return of "Meat is Murder" that used to be on a particular railway bridge (was it the one at Glenferrie Station ?) back in the late 1980's ?

There was also the first They Might Be Giants song I ever heard, _Ana Ng_, where one of them mentioned "when i was driving once i saw this painted on a bridge - 'i don't want the world, i just want your half'".

I can also remember somewhere between Burnley and East Richmond station, back in the 80's, where there was something on a wall next to the train line saying "Jesus said - forsake all and follow me" (with the Bible reference, of course, but I can't remember that). Once the multicoloured tagging wave hit town, though, it drowned in a sea of spray paint but if you looked real hard, you could occasionally see bits and pieces of it.

Then there's all those places with big long bridges in country towns, where one person wrote "happy new year X", but the next year somebody else just tacked on X+1 next to it, so you end up with "happy new year '89 '90 '91", etc., each in a different colour of paint.

But none of those have that Personal Feel to them, really.

The best bit of /non/-bridge graffiti I've seen lately is "eat this information", which almost reaches the giddy heights of "sack yr shrink, hire an artist", that is/was just off Acland St in St Kilda.

posted on September 24, 2002 8:35 PM by cos.

Then there was "MUTATE NOW. AVOID THE RUSH" near Hawthorn station, long since covered in homie-scrawl.

And shortly after the St Kilda light rail line was opened, somebody wrote "THANKS FOR MAKING MY STUMPS BLEED" on all the stations.

posted on September 25, 2002 5:27 PM by acb.

Glen Iris train station - "Marry Me Jane" in pink and silver, surrounded by hearts.

posted on September 25, 2002 8:35 PM by plasmo.

"NYC Rocks!", September 10-13, Metroplitan Ring Road.

posted on September 25, 2002 8:37 PM by darren.

Hasn't that Greensborough Bypass piece been there for at least two years? I seem to recall something like "Happy 21st" the year before last when I was down in those parts more often. Maybe it's just the done thing.

There are some very intelligent pieces around the place; it always make me wonder about the sorts of people who wrote them, what their motivations were, and what became of them. I have an insatiable curiosity; that's why I love Andrew L. Urban's Front Up.

posted on September 27, 2002 8:51 PM by sam.

Well, I hadn't seen it before and I haven't seen it since in my daily trips down the Bypass. Current signage: "Welcome Home Katherine (Bubby)", eastern end of the Metropolitan Ring Road.

posted on October 1, 2002 8:46 AM by darren.

The best one I ever saw was in Liverpool in about 1988. It was written in 2 foot high letters along a brick wall and said: "MINDLESS VANDALISM"

posted on December 24, 2002 2:25 AM by matt.
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