A graffiti friendly town?

Unlike other cities that take the prompt removal of graffiti seriously, the City of Norfolk (the Norfolk City Government, that is) has allowed so-called love locks and other forms of graffiti to go unchecked on the old Hague footbridge, the iconic gateway to Ghent. Local graffiti artists even plied their genre atop the old cold storage warehouse overlooking busy Brambleton Avenue and the Hague — in other words, an eyesore on an eyesore.

A big de facto "come scribble here" sign welcmoings motorists to downtown Norfolk:


Hip new language only the in-crowd can read? Or is the very unintelligibility of it a jab in itself? Or as with much other modern art, is this "street art" simply inaccessible to the masses? Maybe one of the experts at the Chrysler Museum could opine on the matter...


An Experiment

Even though this graffiti is plainly visible from Brambleton Avenue, one of the most heavily travelled thoroughfares through downtown, we assumed the Norfolk City Government knows nothing about it, since it was still there. So on January 12, 2015, we informed the Norfolk City Governement of this graffiti's existence via the Norfolk Cares Assistance Center (757-664-6510), then waited to see now how long it would take for anything to be done.

Norfolk's Stated Graffiti Removal Policy



By January 26th — the same month, same year even — the graffiti was gone. The place looked like a pristine old has-been cold storage warehouse again, but with a bunch of holes chopped into its walls.

So the powers that be in the Norfolk City Government can take care of graffiti — when they want to, when they feel sure that removing it is safe and non-controversial.

Hint to the under-appreciated street artist: Next time, make your stuff more legible. Oh, and be sure to have it say something about "love."

Is there anywhere to hang love locks on the old building?


Graffiti with real staying power

That would be the "love locks" on the Hague bridge. Yes, they are a type of graffiti, even according to Norfolk's own City Code, which states that graffiti is graffiti no matter how it is affixed (as in locked!) to a surface or structure. Think tagging the bridge with a padlock (bearing whatever inscription or whatever that you like):


Even though the word graffiti comes from the Italian graffio meaning "a scratch," graffiti can be sundry things. For example, "yarn bombing" (covering a structure with knitted yarn) is a type of graffiti. So are "love locks." But the yarn bombing on the Hague bridge, presumably thanks to the fact that it wasn't locked to the bridge, was very short lived:


Graffiti with a message?

Then this appeared next to the Hague bridge: Something from the Sixties? Or maybe something from Trump world? Or maybe more likely, since the old bridge was already tagged and trashed with the shabby locks, just more mindless vandalism? It took the City morte than twenty days to get around to removing this graffiti:


Chalk Graffiti

Who cares about this stuff? It just washes away with the next rain:


Off course, some limits might be in order:


And now residential graffiti

Inevitably, the stuff spreads to people's property:


More mischief by the artist known as "Bump"?


Notice from the City to residents victimized by graffiti. Note that the victim is given five days to remove the graffiti, even though the City (as with the above noted graffiti next to the Hague bridge) can take much longer to remove it from public property:






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