Saturday, December 25, 2004

Art Relieves (Social Constipation)

All sorts of sign controversy today.

I ran around with an old chum Eleni Pelican on Wednesday. She is an old friend from way back. I went to her Prom, jeez, something about twelve years ago. She was in town from DC visiting her fam. I took her to go see the old Pelican sign that used to be on the building at Shenandoah and Grand and had since been taken down and stored over at the Lemp. Her family is originally from the neighborhood and they used to run a seafood restaurant called the Pelican at the corner which had the beautiful neon sign with a Pelican animal and the words spelled out. It went from the top of the door all the way to the second floor roof. It was beautiful indeed.

We couldn't find anywhere at the Lemp Brewery. Too bad. I wonder where it is now. So then we rolled up Lemp and I pointed out the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center at Utah. These arts centers are some of my favorite neighborhood resources. Often neighborhoods look down on them for it attracts a lot of young kids. Too bad for the kids are the lifeblood. Or as George, the Lebanese produce guy at Soulard says when he cuts me a deal on produce for the gym, "I love kids. They are my future customers!"

I have always admired the repainted brick sign on the side of the building. It was an old soda pop ad that had faded. Mark Sarich, the owner of the Arts Center had repainted part of the sign with the soda bottle, but he changed the tagline to "Art: Relieves Social Constipation" I always found this a stitch and would grin every time I rounded the corner. A pleasant and clever expression mixing the old with the new and humor.

But it had changed. Apparently the words "Social Constipation" had been painted over. I remember a few years ago I had complimented him personally on such a great expressive sign he had on his building. Mark is a funny guy. The center hosts bands on a occasion. Small art shows. Literary readings. Speakers. Whatever. Mark is in tight with a lot of elements in the neighborhood. We talked about his ties to the neighborhood and the alderman. Apparently the Alderman did not approve of his sign. He told Mark "How am I supposed to explain to my child about constipation." I always found this funny. When I noticed the sign, I snapped a pic with my phone and told my friend Eleni the story. She told me that she was unable to grow up without her parents talking about constipation. Now that is really funny.

I certainly hope Mark was not coerced to change his sign. That would be some serious crap. What sort of city has this become? I will need to contact him to find out what happened.


Blogger Lime Girl said...

Thanks for keeping the $$ in the family by buying your produce from my cuz! I can always count on you for that.


5:17 PM  

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