Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bicentennial Blunder

Photos by Incorrigible Curmudgeon (c)2008

Of all the miss-steps taken in celebration of the Bicentennial 32 years ago, among the worst (at least in DC) has to be the bright idea to make planters out of discarded car wheels and tires. The tires were cut away from the wheel hub on one side of the wheel and flipped inside-out, still attached to the other side. The result was a bowl shape which was then trimmed in a scallop pattern in an effort to make these hideous things as appealing as possible. Filled with soil, they became crude planters of sorts. When painted, you could almost forget their origins save for the tell-tale tire pattern clearly visible. These 'planters' once proliferated throughout DC, though most have mercifully disappeared. These photos were recently taken on Ingraham Street, NW, near Kennedy.

The only thing worse was the brainstorm to paint DC fire hydrants to look like little steadfast tin soldiers, attired in uniforms the likes of which even Michael Jackson would avoid. The color palette on these atrocities was straight out of the local house paint store (where it no doubt came from) and contributed to the garishly grotesque appearance of these stunted humanoids with the phocomelic paddles for arms and their 'we are Devo' helmets. Thankfully, they all seem to have been replaced or repainted in dark green, though a few have been spotted well into the 21st Century. If I ever spot one that slipped through the cracks I'll be sure to post the photo.


Joyce said...

You painted the picture of the fire hydrants with your colorful words...once I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I could write that you should be a comedy writer, Dr. F. and call it a day!

But I would like to see one of these hydrants so keep looking. I wondered why you chose to be anonymous until I read the B-blunder piece. The D.C. government might not like your musings leaving you to try to figure out why you are getting more parking tickets, etc.

Scott C. said...

As much as I worked outside all over Washington, DC, I don't know how I missed these things!

Dr. F. said...

Thanks, Joyce. I'll keep an eye out for one of those dreadful painted fire hydrants.

Good point about the parking tickets (DC needs no excuses to slap any more on, as you well know).

Dr. F. said...

Scott C., thanks. Try the side streets off Kennedy Street in NW DC. That neighborhood still hasn't gotten the memo.