Winging It


It’s Signs of Life’s first submission! And even though it’s from my buddy William of Lowercase L, I think it still counts.

Proving that context is everything, William was on a flight from NYC to Portland when he looked out of the window and saw this strange sign. Here’s a closer look.



November 30, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Park Closes at Dark


There’s something poetic about this playground sign on Pacific Street and Third Avenue in Cobble Hill. Did the person who made the sign purposefully try to make it easy on the ear? And is there something about the ‘beat’ of the wording that makes an otherwise ordinary sign seem more attractive?

November 8, 2007. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

But Who Is In Control of God?


Spotted on Prospect Place and Grand Street, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

What is it about the American love affair with cars and car stickers? From the ubiquitous Stars and Stripes emblazoned with the slogan “These Colors Never Run” to the Bush-bashing jibes about a village in Texas missing its idiot. Why, people? Why do you need these things? Is it something to do with freedom of speech? That the car is viewed as a mobile billboard upon which you can expound (and hopefully propagate) your views? Or is it something to do with American individuality? That, god forbid, no two cars can ever be the same, and the cheapest and laziest way to personalize your vehicle is with a piece of paper and a bit of adhesive?

November 2, 2007. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Many Uses of Duct Tape


I love this creative window display in Mayday Hardware on Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights. Is there something of the American “can do” spirit in a sign boasting that this is just one of “the many uses of duct tape”?

October 27, 2007. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Wanted: Stylist With Following


This sign in a hair salon on 7th Avenue in Park Slope seems like an unusual request: a stylist with following. I can just imagine the interview:

“I see you’ve been a stylist for five years now…And would you say over that time you’ve developed a following?

…That’s great. And how big would you say your following is? Because we really are looking for someone with a sizable following to, you know, fill the place up a bit.”

October 9, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

You Need a Key To Get In


I don’t know if I walked around London with my eyes closed but everywhere I go in New York I see interesting signs. Perhaps the English tendency towards tidiness means fewer people are tempted to stick something on their door or window or car? Or perhaps, being an immigrant to the city I just notice more?

I take endless inspiration from the signs I see. I like to think about who wrote them and why, what it says about this time and this place. Is this sign on a door, on Pacific Street in Cobble Hill, instructing people to use a key necessary? And why did they underline the word “IN”? Is it to reinforce the fact that you don’t need a key to get out?

I hope to explore this theme further on Signs of Life, to highlight the number of interesting signs in New York, and, perhaps, to read your thoughts on why people write the things they do.

October 4, 2007. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.