Tag Archives: street art

June ABCs: G, H & I

Trying to do daily updates is so the first week of June.

G is for Graffiti Art


I’m much too much of a chicken to actually try my hand at graffiti art, but I do love looking at it and taking pictures of it. The title of this blog is even based on some street art I started noticing while living and going to school in Philadelphia. You can read all about them here.

H is for Hair


My hair and I have a complicated relationship I think most people, and especially women, can relate to. As far back as I can remember, I kept my hair in a chin-length bob with straight-across-the-forehead bangs. Though the length varied depending on my age, by high school I was so uncaring, I kept the short bob all the way through graduation. When my grandmother took me to her hairdresser and I found the length she gave me too short for even my taste, I let it grow out for about three or four years. It got to boob-length before I re-bobbed it again, and unsatisfied, I came up with a plan.

After a lot of planning and money-saving, I visited my campus’ extremely expensive hairdresser, who was a great guy and had so much fun chopping my hair into a pixie cut and dying it pink, he didn’t mind that it took a full three hours. I don’t think he got to experiment like that very often. I spent another couple years after that keeping it short and dying it black when the pink became too difficult to maintain.

After college, I let my hair grow again, convinced it was the right thing to do for the wedding I’ll eventually be having. I thought having plenty of hair to work with would be ideal when the big day came. But as we’ve continued pushing it back due to financial constraints and laziness, I found the surplus of hair annoying. Just like any time my hair was long enough to get in my face, I’d pull it back into a ponytail or bun to keep it from tangling and getting in the way. I never did anything with it, and it had extra waves and weird crimps from all the elastic bands I rarely took out.

The result of my frustration is the above picture: hair short and natural, no color or highlights. I might again turn it to straw experimenting with color in the future, but for right now it’s staying that short, wedding photos be damned.

I is for Irritants

Chemical Irritants

Chemical Irritants

Irritants are a big problem to me. I have sensitive skin, and I mean REALLY sensitive. I can’t use generic or even “normal” soap, otherwise my skin dries out almost instantly. I can’t wear certain fabrics because my skin reacts badly to them. Most shampoo is a nightmare on my hair and scalp, and gently scratching my skin leaves red marks that last much too long. I don’t use powder makeup, because it if gets in my eyes or up my nose,  there goes all of the day’s grooming into a red, puffy mess. Towels at hotels have given me painful rashes. I’m allergic to half of the outdoors, some of the indoors, and my own dog. If I could live in a bubble, I would.


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Filed under blog ABCs, the science of appearances

Go Ask Valis, Part 2

About a year ago, I introduced VALIS, a local tagger whose work I found in and around the East Bay. Today, I bring you more of their handy work. Enjoy.

Dumpster drawing.

Under a billboard.

Drip, drip, drip.

More trashcans.

Written in dust under a Despicable Me ad.

Spot the tag.

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Filed under Visual Documents of Nothing

The Last Couple Months in Pictures

I’ve been busy these last couple months, and to prove it, I have pictures! I swear I’m not just being lazy and not blogging. Well, that might be some of it. When faced with a few free hours I have found myself sitting down and watching a lot of YouTube videos, but I chalk that up to “research” – you know, should I ever get around to making a channel and posting videos about… something. Suffice to say, I’m sure any vlogs I make will be just as well-categorized and orderly as this blog!

Er, onto the pictures.

Nurses for the 99%

This Guys Seen Some Shit

Alice in Transitland

Disco Ninja Frog Promise

Mocha Totoro

Those Who Cannot

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Filed under Visual Documents of Nothing

Go Ask Valis

Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve noticed a certain tagger was quite ubiquitous in my nook of the East Bay. That tagger is Valis. The name caught my attention immediately, as I like to read science fiction, and though I’m not his biggest fan, I’m aware of Philip K. Dick’s VALIS series. I haven’t read it yet, but the name always stood out to me. I’m not sure why, exactly – perhaps because of it’s similarity to the name “Alice”, one of my favorite names and fictional characters. But no matter the reason, this tagger caught my attention, and I’ve been doing my best to document their tags as I find them. Here are a few.

Valis 1
Near my favorite Subway.

Valis 2
Dumpster 1

Valis 3
Chained to a rock.

Valis 4
Outside the old Chamber of Commerce. (Possibly a copycat?)

Valis 5
Dumpster 2

I’ll share more as I find them.


Filed under going outside, Visual Documents of Nothing

Robots? In My Crosswalks?

Lord, is it mid-February already?

As predicted in my last entry, I’ve spent most of 2012 thus far watching movies. I’ve seen two from my list of 22 movies I want to see in theaters, and I’ve been watching them at home at the rate of about three a week. Today I finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 while Skyping with my friend. Well worth it, despite the shitty stream I had.

That movie I saw before that one, though, was a documentary called Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Though not as well known as some urban legends, if you’ve spent enough time in Philadelphia, you have probably noticed the strange, rectangular tiles embedded in intersections and crosswalks. They have been dubbed the Toynbee Tiles, after the message most of them carry:

Toynbee idea
In Kubrick’s 2001
Resurrect dead
On planet Jupiter

Clear as mud, eh? That’s what I thought. When I was living in Philadelphia, I started noticing these tiles around the city. I remembered reading a Cracked article that profiled them, and after I noticed them, did a little more internet research, but was dismayed to find no one had ever really figured out what they mean or who put them there. Apparently, new tiles appear to this day, mostly in Philadephia, which has around 60 individual tiles. They also appear in large, Northeastern cities in the United States, like NYC and Boston. Some even appear in South America.

(I won’t spoil the documentary for you, as the filmmakers claim to solve the mystery of who makes the tiles and what they mean, but I definitely suggest giving it a watch if you’re interested in stuff like this.)

A photo I took in Philly near Temple University.

And the Toynbee tiles aren’t the only “street art” you find living in Philly. Graffiti and tagging are abundant in certain areas of the city. Larger than life murals decorate many of the city’s walls. Strange stickers and fliers adorn telephone poles and news paper boxes, advertising the unusual. And some street artists have even figured out the Toynbee tiler’s method of transferring images to asphalt, which is how I first noticed the robots.


This blog, if you weren’t paying attention, is called “Robots in the Crosswalks.” Though it might conjure up the idea of a couple of boxy, metallic beings crossing the street, it is actually named after tiny images of robotic-looking men embedded in the crosswalks of Philadelphia. I’ve heard them referred to as aliens, stick men, robots, skeletons and simply “little men.” There were quite a few of them around my school. I really liked them.

Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve continued to see these little men in the crosswalks. I don’t know where they came from, what they mean, or if they mean anything, but they still fascinate me. I recently came across this blog article, which calls the robots “Stikman” and attributes them to an anonymous graffiti artist who goes simply by “Bob.” Sounds like my kind of guy.

If I do anything with this blog (when I do do anything with it), it’s share information and document things I find interesting. Though it’s anyone’s guess what the makers of the Toynbee Titles or Stikmen are trying to say, I’m sure it’s something, even if it’s only “Look what I did!” This kind of mystery appeals to me, because it is absolutely surreal and yet absolutely human. The abstraction these sorts of things bring to everyday life is pretty much what I’m all about. If you’re out there, reading, commenting, or whatever, thanks for sharing that with me.


Filed under meta