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A New Cast of Characters for Toronto’s Neighborhood Watch Signs

To see more of Andrew’s creative Neighborhood Watch modifications, follow @dcmism on Instagram.

Where some may have seen only an old sign faded after years of sun exposure, Toronto artist Andrew Lamb (@dcmism) saw an opportunity. Since 2012, Andrew has treated his hometown’s weathered Neighborhood Watch signs as a blank canvas, adorning them with whimsical figures from pop culture.

"My work tends to deal with altering urban infrastructure in a playful manner," explains Andrew. In this case, it’s about repurposing municipal infrastructure to "invoke nostalgic happy memories" with the help of characters as diverse as Zelda, Bruce Lee and the Planeteers.

What are the keys to success when modifying a sign? “Use a laser printer, not an inkjet,” says Andrew, “and don’t fall off your ladder.”

Neighborhood watch signs in Toronto

humansofnewyork:

"It was the late 90’s. The police commissioner had figured out that all the people committing small crimes were the same people committing big crimes, so the cops started cracking down on all the little stuff— and crime kept going down, down, down. Everything except bank robberies. Because all the big national banks were moving into the city, and buying out all the local banks. And these new corporate banks were all about ‘customer service.’ So they replaced the retired cops at the doors with ‘greeters’ who would give you coffee and donuts. So word got around fast that robbing banks was fucking easy now. All you had to do was walk in, hand them a note, and they’d hand over the cash. I never even carried a gun. The security footage was so grainy back then, you could barely see anything. It was easy. It’s much tougher these days. I’ve had dye packs explode on me three times. The worst was about a block from here. I had just left a bank, and was walking by the entrance to Penn Station during morning rush hour. Suddenly a noise starts coming from my pants, and a bright neon cloud starts shooting out. Hundreds of people were staring at me. I threw the thing away from me, hopped in a cab, and went to a bar."

Robbing banks can be a Profession

humansofnewyork:

"It was the late 90’s. The police commissioner had figured out that all the people committing small crimes were the same people committing big crimes, so the cops started cracking down on all the little stuff— and crime kept going down, down, down. Everything except bank robberies. Because all the big national banks were moving into the city, and buying out all the local banks. And these new corporate banks were all about ‘customer service.’ So they replaced the retired cops at the doors with ‘greeters’ who would give you coffee and donuts. So word got around fast that robbing banks was fucking easy now. All you had to do was walk in, hand them a note, and they’d hand over the cash. I never even carried a gun. The security footage was so grainy back then, you could barely see anything. It was easy. It’s much tougher these days. I’ve had dye packs explode on me three times. The worst was about a block from here. I had just left a bank, and was walking by the entrance to Penn Station during morning rush hour. Suddenly a noise starts coming from my pants, and a bright neon cloud starts shooting out. Hundreds of people were staring at me. I threw the thing away from me, hopped in a cab, and went to a bar."

Robbing banks can be a Profession