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More Links of the Day:

– I have long despised the East End banners describing the neighborhood using words like “surprising,” “flashy,” “uncommon” and “swag.”


I admire the firm behind the ads, the same one pushing Garden Aerial, but I’m not digging the banners. The banners, paid for by the business association, don’t tell me anything about the district. There are so many banners with so many adjectives, there’s no message.

I’ve also never been a fan of the Maplewood neighborhood banners. Maplwood has gorgeous old homes and a rose garden. It doesn’t need banners to tell you it’s historic.

I knew the banner craze had jumped the shark when Bob Duffy actually had a ribbon-cutting for the East End banners. A ribbon-cutting. For banners.

Turns out, I’m not alone. A Houston blogger wrote a delicious (and foul-mouthed) rant called “Death to Placemaking Banners:”

…what makes placemaking banners a uniquely insidious evil is that they crap on real, authentic places.


…suppose the City puts up a bunch of banners on every damn streetlight that say HISTORIC DUNCAN’S ROW – WORK EAT PLAY LIVE. What this amounts to is vandalism. It’s taking the branded, sanitized experience of Weston Village at Southlands North and trying to retrofit it onto the at-least-still-somewhat-authentic Duncan’s Row experience.


You mean to tell me that this is a place where I can eat, drink, and hear live music? I HAD NO (EXPLETIVE) CLUE I WAS IN SUCH A PLACE UNTIL NOW. THANKS, PLACEMAKING BANNER!

– Magnum photographers are in town taking pictures of our fair city. The Democrat and Chronicle spent some time with the photographers, who are posting some of their photos on tumblr.

– Tearing down Midtown Plaza really hurt the merchants who were forced to relocate.

– Check out these stunning photos of conjoined twin girls in Mexico.

– Tablets are the second-most popular way to watch television. It’s the number one way for me.

6 Responses to Ban the Banners

  1. April 21, 2012 at 4:02 am lynn e responds:

    I guess I like banners and like to remember the name of the neighborhood I’m in lest I forget it. The banners for the East End seem perfect for the bar clientele who go there.

  2. Banners and t-shirt shops, that’s what American culture is all about. Like what they did to the little quaint Sackett’s Harbor village center. And, that’s a national historic district.

    Acheologists will find both 1000 yrs. from now and exclaim that we must have been a society that didn’t know where we were and needed to put it up on poles and wear it on out bodies.

    • SP? left out “r” in archeologists and only one “t” in Sacket’s.

      PS: Banners that weather or tear in the wind are even worse. So, there.

  3. April 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm Edward Richards responds:

    “uncommon” and “swag”. A 90’s wrestler in a mask?! Who gave this the green light? Is that what they want us to feel/say about us (all)?

    Thumbs down. Boooooooo. Boooooooo. Boooooooo.

  4. Presumably banners are a marketing device rather than a location identifier. However, the value of this kind of marketing is dubious. First, what is the East End message? It seems to be: Hey, you’re are in a cool, hip, funky part of town! This then is intended to a) Assure the people present that they are in the cool place that they intended to be in and b) that they themselves are cool because they are in the cool place.

    Ok, fine. The local businesses are doing a little marketing.

    One question that should be asked is if it should be permissible to use municipal property for advertising/marketing…and doing it for free. Lamp posts are all paid for (by taxpayers) so it doesn’t cost the city anything to permit the banners. However, a little revenue couldn’t hurt. Perhaps the city does do this by whatever permit is needed to fly the banners. It might be good to find out…

    For me, the real issue is the stupid, stagey photographs. Are THESE images, the icons, of hipness in Rochester NY? Tatts, a “pro” wrestler (“a 90’s wrestler in a mask?”- thanks Edward), an absurd pic of a woman with a camera from the 50’s, the idiotic “surprising” portraits, and, most absurd of all, the waitress with the fruit salad hat– what does this junk mean?!

    These images are to cool what a picture of a fish is to a poster for a dog show.

    Hey folks, if you still think tatts are cool then you need to spend a little time in Wal-Mart scoping out all the awesome tatts on the obese 50 & 60 year old shoppers. If the ad agency thinks a “wrestler” in a mask is hip maybe they need to find a different client- like a children’s cereal company.

    If the East End business Association wants to remind all the cool kids that they are in the cool place maybe they should start by finding something, anything that is even a LITTLE BIT hip to put on the banners.

  5. Pingback: Main Street Banners » The Rochesterian

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