Robyn’s birthday tomorrow.  It’s cake time!  Today 777 8th Ave, Grayline tours now – NIGHT SHIFT till 10 years ago.

A couple of employees of Grayline came out – woman and a man – just watching what I was doing. 

“You aren’t going to write anything weird are you?  We have lots of tourists.”

I assured her, “no I wouldn’t.” 

“Then – we don’t know anything about it, OK?

I confirmed, “OK.”

All day there were passers by taking notice – the most interested being the sign makers, artists, a local with a story about hookers.

“Minnesota strip – whenever a girl was asked where she’s from she’d say ‘Minnesota’.  Those were the good-ol-days – the past always looks rosier from a distance.  There were bad times too - but GOOD ONES ALSO!”

A woman was admiring it vocally when this nasty foreigner came out and started yelling, “who gave you permission, who?  We own this sidewalk – everything under the awning out to the curb!”

“It’s a public sidewalk”.

“No- I own it – Why didn’t you ask permission?”

“I did.  A lady and a man came out and I spoke with them about the project.”

“Whom did you speak to?”

“A lady and a man – from your business.  They didn’t identify themselves.  They said, all right – you’re not going to write anything weird are you?  No, I said.  She said, ‘ok’ and turned, ‘we don’t know anything about it.”

When I explained Warhol & the porn theater he had not reaction – just – get it off.  A lady who’d been watching said, “he doesn’t know who Andy Warhol is!”  He admitted he didn’t.

“Why’d you choose here!  Why not there –“, he said pointing down the sidewalk.

“Because of the historical significance of the address.”

“What address?  What’s THIS address?  You don’t even know!”

“It’s 777 8th avenue, home of the NIGHT SHIFT THEATER (which I’d learned about existed till 10 years before) and now – GRAYLINE”.

At this point he became aware of Terrenceo Hammond videotaping him.  They began a battle dance of him dodging accusing, evading & finally ordering someone to call the cops.  After 5 minutes & a crowd of well wishers expressing their dismay:

“They ought to be paying you!”

“They should make it permanent.”

“It’s amazing!”

I got my bearings – no cops were there yet – I went to work finishing the word MICHELANGELO and started the next face but the terrain was rough, the scale small and the police showed.

Officer KANE, a short blue-eyed acne faced youth was openly apologetic, “you’re an artist, its clearly art – but you have to…clean it up.  We got a complaint.”

“What complaint?  From one guy in Grayline – there are a dozen here who say it should be made permanent.  What complaint?”

He pulled me back away from Terrenceo’s lens.  Terrenceo’s had history with cops, he’ll go toe to toe with anyone but cops.

“We got a call saying you were doing graffiti.”

“Is that graffiti?  Sand?”

“No.  That’s not graffiti.”

“Then why do I have to stop?”

“Please.  I respect what you’re doing.  Help me out.  It’ll make everyone’s life easier.”

And so died that project – but not before it was significantly complete.  I worked on it for another couple minutes and signed it.  Unfortunately both of the Terrenceo’s and my own camera died.  While I ran into Duane Richards for a plastic camera people, as they will – stepped on my piece.  It was under assault right away.  I should have shot a shot this morning.  Oh, well.