Friday, August 01, 2008

Dictionary Friday (also Artsy): Graffiti

1. pl. of graffito.
2. (used with a plural verb) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood's decline.
3. (used with a singular verb) such markings as a whole or as constituting a particular group: Not much graffiti appears around here these days.

Ann Althouse is in LA this week, posting tons of pictures. Last night, she juxtaposed some pictures of Venice Beach graffiti with pictures she took in NYC last semester. She asks what the differences in style say about the differences between the two cities. As one of the commenters points out, it's not entirely a fair comparison, as the Venice Beach graffiti was legal, so the artists had more time to complete it and polish it up than NYC artists (vandals?) would. That said, the differences between the two are so obvious and totally reinforce the perceptions I have of both cities: NYC is edgy and harsh and actually cutting edge, while LA is all about polish and style and is generally bright and optimistic.

Of course, based on those descriptions, I should prefer LA to New York. But I don't. At all.

Anyway, the post got me thinking: are there stylistic differences in the food cultures within the two cities? Beyond, say, LA tacquerias vs. NYC hot dogs or whatever.

I haven't spent enough time in either city's restaurants to be able to answer that question, I don't think. Even though I've read a lot about both cities' food scenes, I've never really been paying attention to differences and similarities. I might start now, though.

Added artsy thought: a graffit-themed dinner party would be kind of cool, wouldn't it? I'm pretty sure it would justify some squeeze-bottle sauces.

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