Recently I noticed that there was a lot of graffiti in a tall, thin, brick alley on Harvard Street across from St. Mary’s church. Above is the “after” picture, with a yellow annotation that I will get to in a minute. There was a lot of graffiti in the alley itself, but that wasn’t easily noticed from the street unless you were standing right there and looked in. However, up high on the alley walls and near the sidewalk, there were two tags that were visible from far away. It was these two big tags that convinced me I needed to act.
Here are the pictures of the tags that were visible:
The reason I marked the original picture with the yellow circle is to show you that these tags, above the gray box, are way out of reach - perhaps 14 feet off the ground! My first thought was: “How the heck did this kid do this?” Then I saw the little brick ledge on the left-hand side. (You can see it in the yellow circle I made in the picture at the top of this post.)
I thought, “OK, the kid grabbed the thin ledge, pressed himself up off both walls, and then stood on that ledge to paint the tags. I started to climb up, yet it was difficult. I wasn’t in the mood to do it that way. I then remembered that I have seen high-up graffiti before, and the answer was that it was done on the night before recycling pick-up and those huge, sturdy plastic bins were how the kid got up so high.
So I walked down the long alley and found a large blue bin at the end. I dragged it to the front of the alley and climbed on top. I was standing about a foot below the ledge and I could only paint over the bottom half of the tags. I still had to climb onto the ledge and then push off the top of the gray utility box to do it. Even up there, now two feet above the top of the recycling bin, I barely was able to cover the tags. This kid was definitely pretty tall to be able to do this - and perhaps not a kid at all.
(Also, there was a guy on the street watching me do this. He was amused to see how hard I worked to get up there to cover it. He was also impressed that the Rustoleum Old Brick paint did such a great job. He said, “Why doesn’t every town buy cases of that stuff for brick walls?” I said, “I agree, and don’t know.”)
I climbed down, then took out some Rustoleum Metal Primer (rust colored) and covered the graffiti in the alley itself. (It was a darker color brick than what was above, and the metal primer is much cheaper and easier to get than the old brick.)
Anyway, it was a very satisfying elimination, and I hope the people at Gateway Arts and St. Mary’s are happy that they won’t have to see those tags anymore. I also hope the vandal realizes that I was not deterred by the difficulty of the task.