The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

old but empty

with 2 comments

Signs and portents, portents and signage.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The problem with literacy is that one is constantly bombarded with instructions, warnings, and messaging whilst moving about the megalopolis, the visual field carries an unavoidable flood of missives adjuring one to follow posted directives. Reading, for one such as myself at least, is an instant and unavoidable pathway directly into the brain. In a city like New York, everyone from the municipality to the neighbors enjoy leaving little notes around the place which are designed to alert, adjure, or advise.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Visual clutter has and will always be a part of urban life, the Romans probably had little chunks of carved rock hanging about reminding citizens to visit the Appian Way or to pick up after their slaves. There’s probably a cuneiform tablet in the British Museum which was designed to warn the citizens of Ur not to litter or face a fine, or a polychrome sketch adorning a cave wall in France that advises its audience to avoid the sticky situations around tar pits.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Having worked in the advertising industry for many years, your humble narrator is guilty of having helped to propagate this clutter, which is just part of the long list of things which I feel guilty about. The things I’d like to see on signs these days- missives such as “politicians are your employees,” or “don’t try to argue with cops on the street,” don’t seem to make it past the cutting room floor, of course.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

About these ads

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. From the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii, Italy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dom_dramaturga.jpg

    georgetheatheist . . . who let the dawgs out?

    June 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

  2. http://16sparrows.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834515a1f69e20167667d4a81970b-pi

    I don’t know how to put in the picture, but hope this link works.
    “SOON OBSOLETE”

    jaye haviland

    June 20, 2013 at 7:34 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 916 other followers

%d bloggers like this: