I cut down an alley on my way to nowhere in particular–one of my favorite places to go, but that’s another story. I almost missed this bit of graffiti on the roof of a building. It’s not much to look at. It’s probably just a gang sign and may even have been there for a while since gentrification is driving gangs out of the area–there goes the neighborhood. And, walking back the other way, it wasn’t as well-hidden as I thought at first. What got my attention is the placement. It’s not impossible, or even that difficult to get to. The alley behind the building is elevated so the roof is actually below eye-level, depending on how tall you are. I’m five foot six and just barely look down on the roof from the alley, if that gives you some idea.
What’s impressive is that someone had to leap over a gap of about five feet to land on the roof. The gap plummets down about fourteen feet into a very tight enclosure with bricks, grass, and some broken bottles and other trash. And there’s no easy way to make that jump. In retrospect I wish I’d taken a picture of the gap itself to give you some idea, but here’s the top of the cast iron stairway that leads down into the enclosure:
That should give some idea of how hard it must have been for the artist–and, yeah, I’m using that term very loosely–to make that leap. And whoever it was probably did it at night. There are a few businesses around and the alley is pretty open–several parking lots back up to it–but I’m pretty sure it’s not a well-lit area. And the individual had to cross all that roof space. I’d give it a medium level of difficulty.
Here’s that building from the front. It forms a strip that includes a bar, a local LGBT resource center, and a restaurant that specializes in brunch. Hopefully that’s as far as gentrification will reach.