(“You Can’t Fight City Hall” by the Dr. West Medicine Show and Junk Band)
If you spend as much time on Lake Street as we do you probably recognize the mural in this picture. The smaller picture is what it looks like now, thanks to a city inspector who ordered the mural changed because it advertised the business inside the building.
For those of you who ask why we haven’t painted a mural similar to the one that was on the old Hymie’s building for years, or even just lettering like what we painted over when we left, it’s because of this narrow, pinheaded city regulation. The fact is we just can’t do it. Even a mural that doesn’t advertise our business would have to pass city mustard and would cost us a fortune in permit fees.
From Councilman Gary Schiff’s Facebook page, where I first saw the news of the above mural being repainted by the city:
I LOVED THIS MURAL and was sickened when a city inspector ordered that it be ruined (the upper right-hand corner shows the government-approved “after” picture.) The issue: the zoning code says murals may not advertise any products that are sold by the business. In this case, the damaged car held up by the superhero was deemed as advertising for the business, which sold used cars. So in other words, a painting of a grape is legal -but if grapes are painted on a grocery store, it is illegal advertising. Yes, I am sponsoring common-sense reform legislation!
Hymie’s is no longer in Gary Schiff’s ward since our move a few years ago – our Councilman here is Cam Gordon, who is likely to support Gary’s new legislation. Yes, we’re probably going to see more beer cans on buildings, but is that really so much worse than graffiti and smudgy covered-up graffiti like the west side of our building? Hymie’s friends in Minneapolis, contact your representative on the City Council and encourage them to support Gary’s proposed legislation.