I may not be able to chronicle the defaced stop signs of Berkeley anymore, but I can bring you the idiosyncratic signage of New York City.
Everyday I walk by some kind of municipal warning or notice that seems a little odd (at least compared to what you see in the Bay Area).
For example, an overabundance of signs in New York prohibit "ball playing." For me, this conjures up images of smudgefaced newsies playing stickball in Hell's Kitchen (in between shifts of hawking the New York Graphic and pickpocketing).
I see little of this in 21st century Manhattan, so I wonder if the signs are still necessary.
This one informs me that I've found a "drinking water sampling station."
I assume it's only for professional water-samplers, because the box didn't seem to open.
This next sign, which I tweeted about earlier, ostensibly warns you not to become a raffish layabout.
I feel like the man needs a front-tilted fedora to complete the picture.
Since tweeting about this sign below, I've since learned that "summonsed" is in fact a word — maybe.
I passed this one while walking by the Sloan-Kettering hospital. It's just good sense: no smoking in the cancer center.
This sign commemorates the "Dress Up Your Neighborhood Contest" winner....from 1988. The message (posted on a rusting chain-link fence) carries less weight now that the area has had 25 years to deteriorate again.
I see some version of this (below) quite often in New York.
I hope someone knows what it means.
Finally, I can't tell if this one here is a warning or a dare.