Category: Mural

Are You Ready to See the Greatest Mural Ever?

Are You Ready to See the Greatest Mural Ever?

Hands down, the most incredible mural I saw while visiting Lynn, Massachusetts, and perhaps that I’ve ever seen is this collab between JPO and Miss Zukie.

“Zukies are a fluffy and chubby character that don’t talk,” the Peru native said. “They communicate with facial expressions and thought bubbles.”

-itemlive.com

They sound like my people!

I’m in love.

More Info

See this mural on Google Maps. Better yet, go see it in person. It is awesome!

Miss Zukie

JPO

Beyond Walls – Lynn, Massachusetts Murals and Vintage Neon

Beyond Walls – Lynn, Massachusetts Murals and Vintage Neon

The town of Lynn, Massachusetts has been incredible-ized by a program called Beyond Walls, which features neighborhood beautification with vintage neon, sculpture and gorgeous murals.

We activate spaces that foster more livable, economically viable, and equitable communities while retaining the voice and integrity of area residents.

On Saturday I zipped up north to take in the sights. It was fantastic. Never having been to Lynn before, I found myself wishing I had company and time to stay the night and explore all the nooks and crannies on foot. The downtown area featured walkable streets with interesting sights. It seemed like a great place to have a drink and go for a stroll on a warm spring evening.

Here are a few of the sights from my day trip:

 

The Old Burke’s Garden Virginia Post Office

The Old Burke’s Garden Virginia Post Office

Following the very wiggly VA 623, will drop you into the upland valley of Burke’s Garden, Virginia. When there, something about it feels like you’re in a place cut off from the rest of the world.

The local whitepages:

My travels brought me to Burke’s Garden because of a photo I’d seen online of an old post office with a Pepsi ghost ad on the side. I was surprised to see what nice shape the mural is in. By the looks of things, that Pepsi ad is pretty well cared for.

I gingerly stepped up onto the front stoop to take a look inside. My chances of either falling through the step or being stung by bees seemed to be about 50-50. It made me chuckle to myself to think that if I was really lucky, maybe I’d be able to pull off both.

The sign above the door reads: “Burkes Garden, Va – God’s Land”

 

Just Passing Through – Small Town, West Virginia

Just Passing Through – Small Town, West Virginia

Rhodell, West Virginia – a place I’d never heard of prior to standing in front of the alternating colors of the post office’s awning. Why would I have? It isn’t a pass-through on a way to a bigger town. It isn’t famous for anything. No, it’s just a little tucked away place where normal people live their lives.

Normal people, doing normal things.

While I was taking a photo, a young woman came out of the house to receive a little boy getting off of the school bus. When the bus pulled up, a young man also came out of the house to see that same little boy off the bus.

Instantaneously, I’d made a judgment as to why two young adults were home in the middle of the afternoon based on the realities of my own existence.

But – maybe one was a stay at home parent and maybe the other had time off work. Or maybe one was on vacation, on sick leave, worked nights, cared for a sick relative, or it was their regular day off. Maybe one of them hadn’t started their shift yet. After all, I myself was there in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon. The reasons two parents were home in the middle of the day, during what you’d call 9-5 work hours were myriad.

And yet… based on what I’d passed on my way through that burned out and vacant town, I assumed something else. At least one of them might be out of work.

Out of work. That was a real possibility. Where would they work, anyway? Where are the jobs in that little pocket of the world? Of course, I have no idea what the truth of their lives is. I was just some opinionated asshole passing through town, making assumptions.

Later that evening I wrote some notes in my travel journal about what I’d seen throughout the day. “Poverty isn’t a tourist attraction, and yet I feel as if I cannot tear my eyes away.” I feel this so strongly.

Seeing poverty firsthand leaves me with a sense of helplessness. There is a chaos that stirs inside of me and it’s like I just want to “fix” everything, help everyone, give them a place to work… and I can’t.

I look at my life and my surroundings and become desensitized to them. This place where I live becomes reality. Everyone, everywhere lives in this comfort, right? Wrong. And in the wide arc of my own life from childhood to now, I should know this. But, how quickly we forget when lulled by our own good fortune.

Rhodell, West Virginia
2000 census
The median income for a household in the town was $17,143, and the median income for a family was $19,167. Males had a median income of $17,750 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $7,582.
– Source: Wikipedia

The Mail Pouch Tobacco Ad of Grafton, West Virginia

The Mail Pouch Tobacco Ad of Grafton, West Virginia

One of my favorite Mail Pouch Tobacco wall ads is in downtown Grafton, West Virginia. There is so much going on, it is a feast for the eyes.

Is it just me or is that gentle gradient on the Pianos & Organs part especially lovely? The whole thing feels like a time capsule.

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