Saturday, July 13, 2013

Painted Flowers

"Everyone is delightful because of a hard resolve to remake the world."
In the dusty neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, where once laid rubbish and obscurity, is a vibrant (if not splendiferous) and quirky block.  Looking like it jumped right off the page of a pop-art book ala 1973, this corner of the city can be seen from the hill and is more than just a gaudy and bizarre roadside attraction. 

Actually, Randyland, as neighbors and visitors call it, is the vision of a do-gooder, Randy Gilson, who, seeing that his neighborhood was in sad disrepair (in the 1980's), littered with abandoned lots and the grime they encourage, decided to plant some flowers around them in large barrels.  Slowly, he started to paint anything that could be painted (concurrently with another group of ladies who'd jumped on the bandwagon of re-making their town).  
Over the past 30 years, this small art garden has blossomed into a multi-lot, neighborhood project. 
Beyond the aesthetic value, developing points of interest, like this, and encouraging community involvement has a strong correlation with decreased property and violent crime (people don't want to hurt something they're involved in bettering; they don't want to hurt someone they have a common goal with).    Furthermore, revitalizing neighborhoods increases business to areas, which in turn increases jobs (again, correlating with the decrease in crime-- if you have a job, you're not as likely to commit a crime for money).

 Randy didn't wait around for them to do it. 
Why are we?

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