Monthly Archives: August 2004

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Let me say that again: The Yards @ Union Station is a shithole.

When I first moved here, it was a land of lovely grounds, clean hallways, and friendly management. All that has gone straight to hell.

Around a month ago, Bill and I noticed our door had been spit on. Well, that will certainly make one wary. I was up late, and just out of paranoia, I looked out the peephole. Through it I saw the guy across the hall duck briefly into his apartment and then back out. He checked both ways down the hall to be sure no one was looking, then he gave my door a good hard kick. Scared the everloving fuck out of me.

Twice more since then, our door has been spit on--but we're not being singled out. Mister Spitter (who may or may not be the guy across the hall) has hit almost every door on our floor, and--as I just noticed while walking back from reporting the latest incident--all the doors on the first floor as well.

But wait! There's more! Like the grounds slowly getting more and more neglected. Like the fratboy parties that take three calls to quell. Like the shithead who pulls the fire alarm at 2:00am. Like the time someone shat in the elevator to the pedestrian bridge, and it wasn't properly cleaned for weeks.

Management's reaction: a shrug. They can't do much. Can't put up a single, cheapo camera in the hallway. Can't restore the security service that used to patrol.

We've had it, and we're looking elsewhere. So let me say it again: The Yards @ Union Station? Shithole.

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In wandering the streets in search of subjects for my latest project, I have been struck once again at how little of our public art is dedicated to our local history. It gets me right foamy.

Why do we fund a generic monstrosity of a cherubic pioneer family, when our own founders were so much more interesting?

I've had many ideas for local sculptures, but here's a keeper: a Walk of Mayors. Several downtown blocks upon which would stand life-size bronzes of each mayor, alongside an informational bollard. Space them out at two or three per block, so it's a bit of an adventure.

Yes, I realize some portraits will be difficult to manage--I'm willing to put up with a bit of fudging on sculptural accuracy to get the history out there in an interesting fashion. The spousal unit says I'm deeply interested in local history because I'm deeply weird, and willing to slog through the boring to get to the interesting. This makes him happy, because he gets to know who shot whom and where the bodies are buried, without wading through fiscal reports from 1917. In conjunction with this, I contend that the general public isn't interested in its own history because they aren't exposed to it. So let's get the good (salacious, scandalous, inspiring) bits out there.