You know pretty quickly when you find the 'real deal.' That real deal could be an awesome band or painting that struck you so genuinely that not an ounce of doubt says otherwise. I'm going to go ahead and just say it. I love graffiti. Not every scratch and scribble but nearly everything. It brightens the otherwise bleak grey slabs of our concrete jungle and embeds a hidden language beneath the urban fabric visible to all--translatable to only a few. I've witnessed all kinds of graffiti. Big bombs, tiny tags, black and whites, and throw-ups with 10+ colors. On this ordinary Sunday afternoon we stumbled on an even more permanent and creative form of human hand on landscape. The pieces were subtle, timeless, and inspiring. The tagging crew NSF (Not Strictly Freights) were responsible for the tedious stair side "TRY." Loads of other drifters shared their passing thoughts in paint, ink and chalk.
You're probably wondering where all the authenticity is in a centuries old tradition of writing on walls with pigment. So what if Pittsburgh has some paint? See below for Exhibit A. This playful little steel creation is pin-slammed to the concrete guarding the Hollow below and showing the glorious stages of rust.
This crafty spindling street piece held old coins and a few can tabs in its basin while a simple metal THOR is pinned in place on the telephone pole--wonders of the undergrowth.
Moving along our trek to the Hollow and back, we scored a glimpse of an antique version of BESOS who has a bunch of colorful pieces in sly spots all around the city. Next time you're oot n aboot in this lovely urban expanse, look a little closer near those fascinating graffiti spots and maybe you'll find signs of the oddballs who dug their steel teeth right in the ground for a piece of stair-front property where they'll likely live forever.
Here's a helpful guide to discovering the hundreds of Pittsburgh steps that we explored in the photos above. Check a few out and go monkey around on 'em if you feel so obliged. Too many have grown closed or crumbled apart to wait much longer...
To all our friendlies out there,
We Love you ALL!