Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yard art

The Wired Ones nestle in the bushes. Perhaps at night, they take turns rolling the dice to see who gets to roll out on the town.

Whoever lives here has created several of these beings in various sizes. The ones sitting at the curb look like large dry shrubs, at a glance. But upon closer inspection, you find they are made of twisted wire hangers (like the ones from the dry cleaners).

Many people like to do "yard art." Although some is more conspicuous than others, and can cause problems with the neighbors. For example, a man in the Midwest created a "tropical golf vacation" in his yard, complete with putting greens, gazebo, a running stream, and palm trees. Another man from a different town displays his seven vintage Rolls-Royces around his front yard, and has his back yard filled with statues of partially-clad women. Then, there’s the woman who built a giant nest in her back yard, complete with eggs, to work through her "empty nest syndrome" when her son left for college.

In these cases, city officials were called and compromises had to be made, usually in favor of the neighbors who complained.

The Wired Ones have been there for a while; this neighborhood is usually more tolerant of yard art than those that have neighborhood covenants. And we have the 6th Street Dude, who has had giant puppets, a dragon, and a flying tie machine in his front yard.

Yard art is a good thing; it brings soul, humor, and a little spice. Lord knows we have enough "beige" neighborhoods throughout America, where all the houses and yards look the same.


If Jack Kerouac had set out to find a real bookstore in the suburbs, he would still be on the road, Phileas Fogg would still be in the air, the Ancient Mariner wouldn't have had time to tell anyone his story.
-Michael Winerip

The artist's task is to become a successful eccentric, a strange but wise duck able to venture out of solitary confinement and mingle among society.
-Eric Maisel

Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
-Cecil Beaton

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