Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A fascinating morning

in lagalou. Biked with co-worker to the Quarter to meet with local non-profit entrepreneur Eric Kugler to discuss a wonderful idea he has to build small decentralized fresh food buying clubs in the 7th ward and beyond.
We met at Cafe Envie, a coffeehouse with a full breakfast menu to discuss and plan.

As we saw Eric sitting outside with his pit bull Sweet Potato, we also saw another Envie patron yelling down the street at 2 men having a heated discussion.
Turns out one of the 2 men was the Grey Ghost, the infamous graffiti coverer, hated by those artists and many property owners as well. GG has been labeled a vigilante by those who are tired of his one man paint slopping over graffiti, and stories have been told of careless work that often disfigures more than the original graffiti. Property owners have argued with him about painting their building, saying they will decide how to handle graffiti when needed. He has been known to argue for his position and then to ignore the pleas to not return to their rescue.
Of course, there are property owners who applaud his work, saying the graffiti is an attack, and GG is just responding with what the artist would find most distateful, and what would discourage them from coming back around.
The Envie patron was waiting for a police cruiser he had called to back up the second man who clearly was asking GG to stop putting grey industrial paint over the graffiti.
The police cruiser came, ran off GG, went. As soon as the cruiser pulled off and GG walked away, the second man came to thank the Envie patron for backing him up. Turns out he works for the city, and has no love for the GG and told us how he explained to GG that he had no right to further disfugure buildings. He called the Envie patron a hero, gave him his card and asked him if he would testify at city hall if needed.
That, and a pretty good veggie wrap before 10 a.m.

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