Signs Of the Times


Welcome to the second of my pages on signs, signage and all things print media. 


Yakima, Washington, at a trackside depot.  The crates are empty and, if full, would contain apples and potatoes and...

Elk for sale!  Or is it the house?  Taken in Banff, Alberta (Canada).  We’re talking the town, not the National Park.

At the Two Sisters restaurant (near St. Mary, MT), the creativity of map-making trumps any sense of representational accuracy.  Just look at poor squashed Indiana!

Certain signs appear only in certain places.  This one fronts a busy road in Provo, Utah.

Piru, CA, boasts this unattractive (and apparently moribund) eating option.  It has, I think, finally lived up to its unappealing name.

Eugene, Oregon’s Lighthouse Church.  Another from the keen eye of J. Carwile.

Stickers and signs on this general line decorate a lot of Rocky Mountain belt campgrounds, rest areas, and, perhaps most ubiquitously, restrooms.  This particular example is from a roadside rest in British Columbia, just south of the headwaters of the Columbia.  Do the bears know they aren’t allowed to eat?

From the same B.C. rest area.  Just how many “Thou Shalt Nots” can one sign post support???   Taken in 2010, along with most of this page’s contents.

Granada, Espana, not far from the Verea Caves.  Recycling, yes.  Garbidge, no.  Taken in 2007.

Eugene, Oregon.  Another from Jamie Carwile, who apparently likes costume designers almost as much as I do.  As of August, 2010, this sign is, to the best of my knowledge, still in use.

Granada, Espana, not far from the Verea Caves.  Recycling, yes.  Garbidge, no.  Taken in 2007.

Outside the Louvre, France, in 2007.  In Europe, the protest march is alive and well, with immigrant groups and peace protestors leading the way.

At the York Rail Museum in York, England, an entire lexicon of place names and directives literally lines the walls.  It provides further evidence that the good people of Britain still reign supreme when it comes to nomenclature.  And if you think Luton Hoo is bad, try Great Snoring, Devil’s Beeftub and Weston-Under-Lizard, all real places in the lovely Albion Isle.

Taken at the crossing of a small country road in England and––get this––a bike path.  Imagine this level of helpfulness for cyclists in the U.S.

From a wall at Coventry Cathedral, where the original building was destroyed during the blitz in World War II.

Trafalgar Square, London, in 2007 as a massive peace rally was just getting underway.  The following shots are from the same venue.  Note the supremacy not of peace-related ideology, but of private, personalized entertainment.

This one comes from a local restaurant, a mile from my home.  Last week, the owners posted a ground-level marquee bearing the following: “Proudly Serving God For Thirty-Five Years.”  Perhaps after communing with the ghost of Rod Serling, they realized the words might not convey what they first intended––at least not given their status as a restaurant.  Within four days, and on the very day that I brought my camera with me in the car to get the shot, they took the marquee down.  Oh, well.  The sign above remained for about six months, so I presume hundreds of people had the opportunity to sample the bourbon-glazed menu.  Probably a bit tough for my tastes...

Trafalgar Square, London, in 2007 as a massive peace rally was just getting underway.  The following shots are from the same venue.  Note the supremacy not of peace-related ideology, but of private, personalized entertainment.

Would you sell the writer of this sign a house? 

How many words can you find?  From our local Greek restaurant.

The shot above, and the one below, hail from the Circle S Farm on the banks of the Big Darby River in Central Ohio.  Their evident confusion about traffic control extends into any number of delightful syntactical interpretations...

A real election sign from the November, 2011 city council race in Evansville.  And what is his platform, exactly, and how does it relate to city politics???

What a nice sentiment.  Does anyone know of such a place?

Stolen from Anonymous of the Internet.  And her dog.

I must credit my son, Corey, with spotting this one and convincing me it was worthy of a shot.  St. Peter’s is near the financial district, and only a few blocks from Ground Zero.  What puzzled Corey (and me) about this offering is the question of how people accessed the church prior to 1785.  Perhaps they broke in through the windows?  Or was this a church designed as private vault, for the storage of holy relics?  One can only guess.  I must admit, I also like the trio of colorful stripes down the middle; it reminds me of a subway map.  Perhaps there is also a subway entrance?

Two posters on display at the Statue of Liberty museum, in Lady Liberty’s base.

These two poster prints are on display at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  I’m amused by both, and wonder if much has changed in the intervening decades.  This much is certain: the art world owes it to itself to do better.

“Mom, I don’t get it.  Is this a playground, or not?”  From New Glarus, WI.

So much patriotism on display...but wait, are those street signs in German?  Why, yes.  Welcome to New Glarus, Wisconsin, where the strasse are paved with fudge.

Who’s next?  The northern white rhino?  Tigers?  How will Detroit feel when their mascot exists only in zoos?

What a great sale!  Thanks to Lynn Burton for the photo.

You know you’re in the Upper Peninsula when...

Louisville, KY, has the most healthful lottery in the nation, and perhaps the world.

Corner of Boeke and Lincoln.  A quarter mile from my house, one can find...peace.

From Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara, CA.  It is reported that squirrels may also be responsible for global warming and teen delinquency, but this has not yet been confirmed by reputable scientists.

From the Courier & Press.  Looks like somebody fell asleep during Layout 101.

At the Louisville (Int’l) Airport, one finds numerous artworks on display.  I credit the airport for doing this, but not for killing off poor Anonymous Wool.  Who was only ten at his death, and surely deserved better.

Possibly this is not what the Donut Bank intended.  Or sold.  Thanks to Chuck Meacham for the photo, who also provided the photo below, taken in a field in rural Kentucky with, as he put it, “nothing else around anywhere.”

Protest movements in the U.S. have been a rare bird in my adult life, but in 2011 and scraps of 2012, they gained some popularity if not currency.  From Occupy Wall Street comes the photo on the left (possibly taken by Sheldon Serkin), and on the right...well, I’m not sure of the provenance of this except that it appeared on Facebook and has a weblink attached. Generally, the photos that appear on this site are my own, but I found this image, as much as the sign itself, striking.  Note the mask, bottom left.