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Posts Tagged ‘jeremy c. fox’

Here’s a story about how a city counterintuitively addressed its graffiti problem by offering a place to do graffiti.

Jeremy Fox writes at the Boston Globe that the graffiti mural began as a response to the growing problem of offensive messages sprayed on a wall facing the train track. That wall, he reports, “has become a local institution with a national and even international following.

“In the process, this wall at the Clemenzi Industrial Park has also become one of just a few spaces in the region where graffiti is officially sanctioned, which may help protect nearby walls from unwanted images and messages.”

(Don’t you love words like “sanctioned,” which means one thing and also its opposite?)

“John Clemenzi, who manages the property that his family has owned for four decades, said that when he began allowing artists to paint on the building’s rear wall, Beverly was in the midst of ‘a horrible graffiti problem.’ But in recent years, he said, ‘I rarely if at all see any graffiti elsewhere in the city.’ …

“The change began about a dozen years ago, when two Montserrat College of Art students approached Clemenzi with a proposal to decorate the wall, which faces the tracks for the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line. …

“He agreed to let the young artists decorate a small section, 40 feet of what he estimates is a total length of about 800 feet.

“He set three ground rules: Clean up after yourselves, no offensive messages, and don’t paint on the building’s brick faces. The students agreed to follow those rules and to help police the area, and over time, the sanctioned graffiti grew to cover the wall.” Read the rest of the story here.

Photo: John Blanding/Globe Staff
Artists worked at the Clemenzi Industrial Park in Beverly. Since people began spraypainting the wall a decade ago, the drawing of graffiti has fallen elsewhere in the city.

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I remember my mother’s story about driving home to Boston with a friend and trying to cross the Connecticut River on September 21, 1938. I wish I remembered the details: where they were coming from, who was driving, whether they got across or the bridge was closed, where they spent the night.

But I will never forget the awe with which people of a previous generation spoke about the Hurricane of ’38, its unexpectedness, its devastation — and little Edrie Dodge crawling on hands and knee across her yard as the winds destroyed the farming and fishing industries of her island.

That hurricane has always held a kind of fascination for me. I was riveted reading A Wind to Shake the World, an excellent book describing places I knew and emphasizing that lack of good communication in 1938. While people in Long Island were fighting the storm, people in Rhode Island had no idea they were next.

Nevertheless, good things came of tragedy, lessons were learned. Forecasting and communication improved exponentially.

The Globe had a retrospective on the 75th anniversary.

Jeremy C. Fox wrote, “On that September afternoon 75 years ago today, the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 tore into New York’s Long Island and then Milford, Conn., and raged through Massachusetts and Vermont, leaving a path of flooded towns, flattened homes, and fires caused by downed power lines. …

“Coming before televisions, computers, or weather satellites, the storm’s speed and fury took both meteorologists and residents by surprise, according to forecasters.

“Meteorology professor Lourdes B. Avilés said the storm remains “the one to which all other New England hurricanes are sooner or later compared.”

More here.

Photo: The Boston Globe
”This enormous tree in our backyard came completely uprooted and came crashing down,” said Irene Goodwin Kane, who was 14 when the storm hit. “That was when I realized that this was really bad.”

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