Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is it me?...

… or is there something that’s not quite in the holiday spirit about those bright orange sandwich boards that recently cropped up around the neighborhood advertising fish? Sometime last week they suddenly appeared at various street corners along E. Madison and on certain residential side streets, covered with protective plastic and weighted down with concrete blocks. What’s the story?

“I’m just a fisherman trying to make a living,” says the perpetrator. “These signs are tremendously effective for a very low cost.” That’s why they’re there.

There are fewer signs around Madison Park today, however, than there were a week ago. That’s because of complaints. According to the fisherman, who reports that he places these signs in selected neighborhoods all over the City, the only neighborhood that he’s ever received a complaint from is ours. He used to live in Madison Park, he says, and wonders why it is only in our community that people have gotten torqued. We’re just naturally curmudgeonly down here, I guess.

He promises that the signs are temporary and will be removed within the week. If anyone has a complaint about a specific sign, he will get that sign down sooner, he says.

Maybe there’s really nothing wrong (other than the illegality) with putting up a few signs here and there to advertise your wares in the Park. But when it comes to this kind of thing there's clearly more than one school of thought. There are your “live and let-live” Madison Parkers; and then there are your “standards are standards” Madison Parkers. This all reminds me of a story someone told me about a yard sale she had in the neighborhood a few years ago. As the sale was underway, one of her neighbors came by and delivered a gentle admonishment: “Really, my dear, this kind of thing is just not done in this neighborhood.”

Well, of course it is. That and orange fish-for-sale signs.


  1. Thanks again to Bryan, for policing our neighborhood. It is reassuring that somebody has the guts to speak out against travesty!!!!! We are in good stead with Bryan in our neighborhood. Congrats again, and Happy Holidays, Harvey G - Madison Park

  2. How is this a travesty?? It's a local businessman trying to make a living by selling fish. Have you even tried the fish? I bet not. You and your ilk are the Whole Foods type.

  3. I do not think individuals or businesses should be allowed to put up commercial signs in areas that are not commercial. It is a blight to the neighborhood and contributes to the ubiquity (onslaught) of commercialism everywere. I know it is a small thing but to set a precendent and accept this is not a good idea. But what is even worse is the new Chase Bank sign. Not only is Chase not local (are they bailout recipients?) but they have crassly disregarded the village "feel" of our little village here by installing a monumental, garish, plasticy, neony, sign right in our midst. "Mr Chase, take down that sign!"


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