It's a popular Take-a-Book, Leave-a-Book program that is sweeping the nation (and spreading elsewhere in the world).
It's a great way to share books in your community. I've been wanting to install one, since I live on a street with a lot of foot traffic, especially by kids. I don't have carpentry skills and could buy a kit, but plan on trying to build one next summer. The variety of LFL's is immense, from simple modest structures to elaborate ones to clever, creative and humorous ones.
note: following photos used with permission from LittleFreeLibrary.org
Have you been following the ruckus about Banksy in New York City? He's a successful British street artist who's been making his mark on Manhatten this month. You can follow along on a website dedicated to his New York work. He's talented, clever and witty with a huge dose of social commentary. How can you not love his Meatpacking District truck, Sirens of the Lambs!?!
New York has had many famous street artists, most notably Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, Paris has more than its share. In fact, even Banksy admits his debt to Blek, the granddaddy of Paris graffiti artists. Good street art seems to be an urban phenomenon. Most Paris visitors have returned home with street art photos.
In my little town of Petaluma, we are always on the lookout to remove gang graffiti as soon as it appears. We don't seem to get the high-class street art of big cities. Of course no one wants ordinary tagging on their property.
Do you see a difference between street art graffiti and vandalism graffiti? And if so, what is it? Is it only a function of bourgeois values? Most new art movements have been seen as transgressive at their inception. This is how one graffiti artist, Lush, sees it (from streetgiant.com)
Is this an art form for the young that those of us of "a certain age" just don't understand?
I saw this piece of stencil street art and it made me think. I know panhandlers often use animals because people are sometimes more likely to be sympathetic to a poor pet than a poor person. Yet homeless people need companionship and protection, too, and the animals are not always part of a scam.
When I first saw this dog with a panhandler near le Bon Marché, I admit I wondered if it was stolen. Notice the fine quality of his halter. The owner wore threadbare and dirty clothes with his belongings in a shopping cart.
Then I felt guilty; maybe he spends any money he has on the dog. And Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, has written about how the homeless often take better care of their dogs than other people do. They don't overfeed them, they walk long distances with their dogs (thus giving them the adequate exercise so many of us don't provide our pets) and the dogs are very well-behaved, like the noble guy above.
What is your opinion about panhandling with pets? Esclave? Compagnon? Garde?