Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Welcome to CAMPy WASHINGTON, where humor is a matter of civic pride.

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Here’s George Washington, all dolled up to keep watch over the fine citizens of this urban neighborhood. He’s attended by Cincinnati’s famous flying pigs and a docile cow.  

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The purple gorilla and old-timey robot aren’t just mural stars: they have real life counterparts, statues that are an integral part of our local identity. 

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George is ready for his close-up.

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The mural sits right off the highway, and is visible to random people filling their tanks at two gas stations. Although it doubtless makes them smile, its real importance is in brightening the lives of local residents who spend their days looking at manufacturing warehouses and crumbling 19th century brick buildings. In a neighborhood so far off the radar as to lack even the condescending appellation “up and coming”, public art really does make a difference.

Art is the Signature of Civilizations: Why this (Silent Movie Stars) Mural is so Important

I’m a niche writer. I don’t see eye-to-eye with the mainstream media, and that’s okay: I’m happy to go my own quirky way, even in a professional capacity. I’m fortunate to write about subjects that I truly love: dead writers, literary culture, weird short fiction and, of course, classic movies. I’ve been writing about the latter for a decade but, over those years, my focus has narrowed: I now write mostly on silent cinema. Oh, my beloved!

My home city has many amazing, memorable murals (hello, half-upside-down American Gothic!). My favourite-which I discovered a year ago as my mom was scouting out new apartments in this downtown neighborhood-is in the parking lot of a law school. It was so unexpected that I sucked in my breath before letting out a loud squeal. I may have jumped up and down but this is where the memory becomes foggy. Behold: Continue reading