Band logos, billboards, and bumper stickers occupy a curious place in public space. Think of any surface -- a beer-stained sound booth, a lamppost at a crosswalk, a dive bar bathroom wall, the knife-scarred window of a toll booth -- and chances are, someone with an indie band or a turntable or bizarre political agenda has already been-there-done-that with a sticker. (My favorite bumper sticker ever, spotted on the back of a beat-up sedan? PRO-ACCORDION AND I VOTE. Steer clear of that loose cannon.)
While I haven't annexed whole rooms of brain space to the exercise, I do enjoy my occasional brushes with this transient trash. I walk around and wonder: Whatever happened to that unfortunately-named band on a wall in Tucson, Arizona? Is anyone actually going to go home and Google that Myspace address scrawled on the stairwell at the 14th Street subway after rushing to catch a transfer to the uptown 2/3 train? These names are fleeting and the city has its clean-up crews, so the life expectancy of these stickers is inevitably short. So be it. Most of them are poorly designed and pretty much a scourge. I'd even raise a rant against them myself -- if it wasn't for all that bloody pathos.
Yes, New York City is one big sticker book for everybody's broken dreams. But don't despair, sticker-makers and street teams. If there's a number attached to it and I happen to be strolling by with my camera, look out: you might just well be in for a 16th minute of so-called fame.