Well, after a year of doing this, it’s time to stop. The police are doing a great job arresting people, and other taggers have seen that Brookline is a place where there is just too much risk of getting caught because of all the patrols and stakeouts.
It has been 18 straight nights in town with no new tags - the longest stretch in at least a year! During that time, I got rid of all the old tags in Brookline I could find. All that is left are tags in alleys, along train tracks, up on several partially-obscured rooftops, and other places that the public doesn’t really see.
I am sure there will be more tags soon enough. But for now, even if not for long, the town is cleaner than it has been in several years.
To all the people in Brookline: you’re welcome!
To all the hecklers online who have made fun of my crusade: your opinions have no meaning to me.
To all the graffiti vandals online who are outraged at this and have promised revenge: The police here have serious skills and have proved they can catch you. They are watching this town, and they have my back too. If you come to Brookline, a town where cops can be seen all over the place, they will arrest you.
Lastly, I will leave you not with an image of graffiti, but of the most prominent town symbol: the Tricentennial Tower in Coolidge Corner. This effort was always about the community. Teddy Applebaum once asked me what the difference was between me and the taggers. I said, “I believe that the public square should represent the values of the community. They believe it should represent only their values.”