Saturday, March 31, 2012

Signs of Spring in Surrey

I'm an enthusiastic gardener and love growing things of all kinds, so naturally I'm eagerly looking forward to warmer weather. Spring has sprung and signs of growth are everywhere. 
I enjoy crocus spotting, even if they are accompanied by a cigarette butt.

 So many of the old homes around here used to have beautiful gardens.  Even though the houses are now neglected and worn, yards and gardens go forsaken and  ignored, the crocuses and daffodils still courageously poke their heads out of the ground every year.

Forgotten locations where someone at some time has planted bulbs looking forward to spring.

Hidden away in a little corner of landscaping behind a business on Scott Road.

Every now and then, on an empty lot you will see signs of what beauty used to be at that location. 

The magnolia is blooming at the Ribbons and Balloon property. 

The white blossoms vie for attention,  competing with the bright colors of the balloons.

The brilliant yellow of the skunk cabbage is nicely complemented by the orange and yellow of  the chip bags.

Spring means grass cutting by the side of the roads has begun.
Unfortunately they did not pick up the garbage before the mower went through, so all the plastic and paper has been shredded into many parts. You can see the slices of plastic that this cup separated into. I counted 10 or so pieces to pick up now, instead of one.

The label that was one piece is now three.

 I recently predicted a similar fate for the trash in the Surrey Ditches.

This plastic is as light as air now and will be blowing in the wind today.

In Spring the blackberry canes turn a bright red purple before they explode into thorns and leafs and hide all the garbage.
Spring rain and wind also brings about a lot of umbrella dumping.

Random picture I took this week that isn't spring related but I find amusing.

A city councillor once said to me in an e-mail. "perhaps you might also consider taking some pictures of Surrey that show some of its natural beauty as well."  Here's some pretty pictures just for you. Click to view larger.

The snow is still on the mountains

but Spring is definitely in the air.

Thank you to whoever planted these flowers in Al Cleaver Park.
You have added a bright spot in my day.

Plant Flowers not Garbage! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tagging Part 5

I'm trying to be as thorough as possible in photographing the tags I see. I want to be as clear as possible when I talk to the Graffiti Hotline about the volume of tagging activity in my area.

The current method of dealing with these tags is to force people to over paint with by-laws and fines. However, even before that happens, it requires someone to report the graffiti. As my photos show, no one is reporting anything. The system does not seem to be working to reduce or eliminate tags and graffiti. 

I am just going to throw all these pictures up here and figure out what to do later. My apologies to anyone who came here looking for inspiration or a solution. My best idea is to have some public street art and murals in places where this is a problem. Please visit my Blank Walls for Public Street Art page for more information.

These tags are all from 128 Street to Holland Park between Old Yale and 96 Ave and photos were taken on my dog walk today.


Bog Park at 130 and 97
Bog Park

Holland Park (has been fixed in a timely manner)

This is the fifth post regarding Graffiti and Tagging. Visit  Problem of Graffiti, on Tagging Part OneTagging Part TwoTagging Part Three and Tagging Part Four.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tagging Part 4 - Rated R

 There's a few tagging and graffiti pictures which I haven't  posted before now. 
No, this isn't one of the Rated R  Tags.  These next few ones were taken the last couple days along 128 Street.  

Here's my problem. 
Do I make a website that shows the whole ugly truth, or make a website that children can visit to teach them the Keep Canada Clean message?
Do I make a website that trashes Surrey completely, or make it an encouragement to people with happy thoughts and messages of rejuvenation?

Fair warning: If you have small children sitting on your lap or looking over your shoulder, you may want to read the rest of this page another time.
My reality right now is that I get depressed when I go for a walk in my neighborhood. I've gotten e-mails from others who say the same thing. My walk yesterday was one of those walks.

I drive past this back alley off of 128 Street and 96 Ave everyday on the way to Newton. I can see when a new dump of stuff has been left in the back alley. I also walk my dog this way every now and then. Sometimes the back alleys are quieter with less cars. 
This alley is never pleasant. I see a new dump of garbage as I approach 128 Street. The black and white plastic wrapped object has holes in the plastic. It looks a lot like dog fur, I begin to think it's a dead dog tossed out. Why else try to double wrap it? Why is my dog all slinking and skulking? What else could it be? A sheepskin? A old fur coat with long fuzzy caramel colored hair? If I poke it with a stick will it feel solid? I didn't want to look too close. I reported dumped garbage and have been since trying to convince myself it was a very large large sheepskin.

But I digress, because we are here to look at graffiti. 
 Yes, that's a toilet. Go ahead, say all those Surrey in the Toilet jokes and get over it.

 This is what it looked like a week or two later with a TV added. I didn't photograph it again this time, but things had been moved around but not cleaned up. (Update: the garbage was picked up, but the image remains... How hard would it be for by-laws to just paint it without all the paperwork to the owner... it would be faster and probably cheaper.)
The fence next door is this.

 That's all, not that dramatic. Rated R for Rude maybe, and not the Surrey I want to portray. Like I said, not my favorite back alley.

This graffiti is on the other side of 96 Ave. (Update, this was finally poorly painted over in black around April 30th, after having been there for 3 or 4 months. One month since this post. What if I hadn't reported it... how long would it have been? This wall really needs a nice large mural.)

I walked past used condoms on the street on my way home. I didn't photograph them cause it's gross. Here's my token condom photo that I took a long time ago to represent all the ones I've seen the last few months. Used condoms on my street corner, in the street, on the boulevard, in front of the elementary school and next to the park. 

Also offensive. Used oil filters in the ditch.

Also offensive. Trees being cut down one after another after another.

OK. I'm done. I need to take my dog for a walk and I'm trying to figure out which way to go to recover my positive outlook. 

This is the fourth post regarding Graffiti and Tagging. Visit  Problem of Graffiti, on Tagging Part One and Tagging Part Two and Tagging Part Three.
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