Just give me some kind of sign

A week ago, I posted a photo on Facebook of a gent (though as you’ll see below, “gent” is a generous characterization) who was tooling down the Arizona Canal near my house on a motor scooter, which he insisted was legally a “bicycle.”

As you’ll see from the sign, the canal pathway rules don’t say anything about bicycles but specifically forbid “motor vehicles”

Canal sign-cell(150)Canal biker-cellcam(150)dpi)

“Take a picture of this!” he said.

But one of the things I like about the Sunnyslope neighborhood of north-central Phoenix is the wide diversity of people and things you can see from a real bicycle. For example, right after busting the motorbike guy, I found this clever bit of sign shenanigans (which I’d like to think is a tribute to the “V for Vendetta” mask) next to a canal underpass:

Canal yield sign-cell(150)About a half a mile in the other direction, there’s a cul de sac with this street name:


Then, close to the corner of Why Worry and 7th Ave. is this notification of a house for sale.


And, in what has to be the most monumentally ill-begotten instance of a misplaced “For Lease” banner, I found the following triumph of inadvertent smut peddling in the middle of a strip mall:

Kum On European Hoes-CR2(806)Despite being in the middle of a very mixed ethnic population in a major metropolitan area with no pretense to countryside ambiance, one can also find several properties apparently “grandfathered” for raising livestock during the winter.


Llamas(413)But lest you think this is really a property bordering on a rural desert ranch, note the emus checking out the traffic along a major urban thoroughfare, Dunlap St.


Back by the canal, just off Granada Park, you can find this cast bronze figure, partially submerged, pulling a boat through a dry river bed towards a lagoon. (“Tracker” by David Phelps)Granada boat sculpture-rev

There used to be a nice placard telling about the sculpture (mostly the names of all the civic leaders and aldermen who sponsored it) but it’s gone now.

And halfway between a CVS store and a hospital is this bizarre representation of a sort of burning man — actually a cast bronze abstract relief image literally embedded in the concrete sidewalk. This one is called “Tuberculosis,” part of  the Sunnyslope Sidewalk Project, representing the dry desert air used in treatment of the disease back in the day when the area was settled by tuberculants who spent their last money traveling west for the drier climate and cleaner air.

Street art-125-rev

All you need is a camera and a bike…a real bicycle, not a motorbike, you moroon.

All photos by the author





2 comments on “Just give me some kind of sign

  1. That motorbike guy–yikes. You confronted him? I probably would’ve contented myself with shooting him ineffectual dirty looks. Love how interesting that neighborhoods (and the llama pictures)! Where I live, there are a lot of… cows. And this place called Condom Sense, if I’m recalling correctly. Also, where do you teach college writing?

    • jveeds says:

      Interestingly, I ran across MotoMan a year or so after our canal path encounter as I was searching for orange trees in the neighborhood. (In this area, there’s no need to buy orange juice from December to May if you can find some friendly homeowners who would like to have you harvest their trees.) I was bicycling past a house with several great orange trees and saw the owner out in the yard, and asked whether it would be OK to fill up my bag from time to time. He was agreeable and so I’d make a stop there every couple weeks on my rounds. And then one day I spotted his motorbike in the garage. I don’t think he recognized me.

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