As I have said before, cities, and even small neighborhoods, are always changing. The other day we got to watch it happen and talk to the folks behind it!
On the corner of Belmont Street and 34th, just a block from our house, is a small family-run store called the Belmont Market. It has been there for many, many years, changing hands but basically staying the same.
The painted front of the store was old and sort of, well, sloppy. It took a while looking at it to realize it was, indeed, a market. I am sorry to say that it was so unspectacular that I never even took a picture of it!
Tuesday afternoon we saw that the old front had been painted over, and a promising new front had begun.
Wednesday, as we were walking to lunch, we noticed some lovely people up on ladders, lettering and continuing the new work.
I stopped by to tell them what a great job they were doing, and got to visit with Janet, the designer and head painter. She told me that they were working with the Portland Street Art Alliance, the same group who has painted so many of the other murals we love.
In addition to rainbows and sunshine and fine lettering, they will paint a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and a bottle of Underwood wine on the sign, as advertisements. For this, the Pabst and Underwood companies have paid them enough to pay for the paint. The design and painting was done as volunteer work, for the good of the neighborhood.
This coming together of volunteer and paid work, private and public cooperation, and art and commerce just makes me happy. I love my new city!