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Thursday, June 25, 2015

West Bottoms Update

So I'm riding home from work and as I pass by Black Label Cycles, I see a couple of guys re-doing the whole tag wall on a side of the building.

So this made me realize I had been neglecting my precious West Bottoms tag galleries. City people come cover up some with gray, but even without that, the writers will come back themselves and cover over their old work. Especially with legal walls, there's a limited amount of time to take it in. The Scribe billygoat I framed a 24 x 36 poster of for my living room wall is long gone.

One of the guys repainting Black Label Cycles, I said there were lots of other walls in the West Bottoms to tag up before redoing one and he said, 'Well, there's the matter of getting permission.' Okay if you want to be a stickler.

But then, talking to one business owner as I shot some of these pics (I won't say which, that might cause problems that shouldn't happen), I got another angle.

He said, 'I came here one Saturday and these guys were painting my fucking building. I got in their face, I was like, who told you this was okay? They were like, Well, there were already gang tags here, we were just covering them up with something better.'

And realizing they were right, he let them finish. Then he got a letter from the city that he could be fined for being urban blight and he got madder about that than he ever was at the taggers. He told city hall to shove it up their blighted asses and apparently they did.

I was curious about Black Label's signs. The taggers have it as Black 'Label' Cycles, which is how me and Spellcheck see it. But there's a sign cut out of steel hung out of the side of the building that has it as 'Black Lable.' I've made plenty of txpos in my day, probably even today, but shouldn't you proofread before you carve it out in steel and hang it out there?

I run into a lot of photographers in this neighborhood and I asked one the other day, it's starting to wake up, where are you going to go for urban decay backdrops when the West Bottoms is all gentrified and urban renewed?

He said maybe East St. Louis. Seems a long ways to go.

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