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Reader-submitted stencil(?) January 7, 2013

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Reader submission, Smiley.
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I was browsing Facebook shortly after Christmas and I spotted this plywood stencil in a friend’s photos:

At least, I'm assuming this is some kind of stencil. Submitted by Monica D.

At least, I’m assuming this is some kind of stencil. Submitted by Monica D.

This is in Portland, “Where even the trash is happy,” according to my friend Monica. I told her I had to steal it for my blog, and she was happy to let me have it!

If I’d been quicker — by which I mean, if I hadn’t been slumping around in sweatpants feeling lazy from post-holiday food indulgences — I would have jumped in the car and tried to grab this off the street. But alas, it didn’t happen.

I will, however, keep an eye out for wherever this thing got painted onto a street or a building. Surely it won’t be that hard to find? 🙂

Reader-submitted “Jenny” October 4, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Reader submission, Smiley.
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The “Jenny.” Submitted by Jaretta R.

This is another fantastic find by frequent submitted Jaretta R! She writes, “I’m not sure if your wife is ever called “Jenny” [she isn’t, but way to connect the ship with my wife, Jennifer!], but I immediately thought of her when I saw that boat on our trip to the Everglades! […] It sometimes feels like all of a sudden smileys are popping up everywhere, but I believe that I have just begun to notice them more. This is very good for me because seeing the smiley helps to pick me up emotionally and there are many days that I really need that extra little push. So thank you!!”

Oh, no, Jaretta: thank YOU! I think most days we all need a push, however small, and sharing smileys is a powerfully helpful push. And I couldn’t post nearly as many smileys as I do without the help of happy, observant friends!

Here’s a close-up of the smiling helm:

Graffito on electric box October 1, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Graffito on electric box, Sandy River delta, Portland, OR.

A couple of weeks ago, Jennifer and I spent an afternoon hanging out on the wide, gritty bank of the Sandy River delta, where the Sandy runs into the Columbia River. It was a gorgeous late-summer day to begin with, but you can imagine how much happier I felt when we spotted this graffito on the path out to the riverbank.! 🙂

Smiley on construction instructions September 24, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Doodle on a “do not disturb” sign. Portland, OR.

I love how the smiley face has become a kind of universal symbol for “I know I sound bossy/mean but I still like you!” We drop it at the end of emails or Facebook comments we worry might get misinterpreted as mean-spirited; we add it to birthday cards whose jokes are (humorously) at the expense of the recipient; and, as this person has done, we add it to signs with strict orders. In this case, it’s a sign on an apartment in our building that the landlord was refurbishing, and the sign was instructing workers to stay off the newly-sanded and waxed wood floors and to leave the kitchen sink alone for a few days. But the first thing I noticed was the smiley face. 🙂

Gas station sign in Texas August 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley, Travel.
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Smiley sign on a Texas highway. Photo taken August 2012.

As we wrap up our Texas trip, I have to share this smiley sign for a gas station on a Texas highway. It’s not the first such sign I’ve seen in Texas, and big as this state is, there are bound to be dozens — or hundreds — more, so keep your eyes peeled, Texans! 🙂

A snowman in the summer? August 27, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were walking around in our neighborhood in Portland when Jennifer spotted this giant…. snowman?… on the sidewalk.

A snowman in the summer?

We looked at it for quite a while, from several different angles, but we couldn’t decide if that’s what he was supposed to be, or if he maybe was just a pleasantly rotund man.

Whatever the case, he’s certainly is happy! 🙂

 

Sunshine chalk drawing August 6, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Sunshine chalk drawing. Portland, OR.

We’ve had a long week of bright, sunny days — and thermometer-bursting heat, which is very rare in Portland, especially this mild summer! — so it was particularly appropriate that I spotted this smiling, shining sun on a sidewalk in downtown Portland last Monday. 🙂

Olympics Opening Ceremony July 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Here at Uncle Smiley’s house, we are HUGE Olympics fans. But, *sigh* we live on the West Coast, which meant that while the rest of the United States got stuck waiting three and a half hours to watch the Opening Ceremony (and in the meantime had to sit on their hands to avoid checking Facebook, Twitter, or anything else Internet-related lest they catch spoilers of the festivities), we were stuck waiting an EXTRA three hours after that! It was enough to almost make us frown.

But then I got a message from my sister, who lives in the Central Time Zone and was watching the ceremony two hours ahead of us. She asked simply, “Did you see the smiley face in the Opening Ceremony?”

So now I had something else to look forward to! 🙂

The smiley face in question is this one, aired during a `70s and `80s musical number:

At least, that’s how it looked on our screen at home. (And thanks to Jennifer, aka Aunt Smiley, for catching a photo of it while I was feeding the cats!)

But strangely, though I scoured the Internet today looking for a clearer shot of the smiley face, no one else seems to have noticed it. The closest thing I can find, even when searching for “olympics opening ceremony smiley face,” is this one:

And to be fair, it is a kind of smiley. (The photo above is also mine. You can see a clearer version on the Vanity Fair website.) But it’s not the iconic one we caught almost two hours into the ceremony.

Strange.

But wait — it gets cooler! While searching for the classic smiley during the ceremony, I also came across an image early on of the spectators in the arena passing around a giant beach ball. And guess what was printed on the ball!

Score!
(Click the image for the article I found it on.)

Smileys as restroom signs July 16, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Smiley restroom markers. Bread and Ocean bakery and deli, Manzanita, OR.

My wife and I went to the Oregon coast today. It was GLORIOUS! Most of our day we spent lounging on the beach, listening to the surf while reading our books or watching kite-flyers. But for lunch, we stopped in at Bread and Ocean, this delicious little bakery/deli where we had paninis and cookies.

Bread and Ocean’s logo includes two sets of squiggly lines, three vertical squiggly lines for the heat rising off freshly baked bread, and three horizontal squiggly lines for the waves of the ocean. And on the restroom wall, they repeat the logo lines like hair on two smiley faces, to indicate that the restroom was unisex.

Happiness all around! 🙂

Ryan Iz Da Bomb June 25, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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The other day, I stepped out of my building’s front door and started walking down the street to a birthday party for my Buddhism teacher, and I spotted this on the sidewalk.

RYAN

IZ DA

BOMB

! 🙂 !

It was the smiley that got me — makes me happy every time. 🙂

(Also, my wife loves the squiggly exclamation marks on each side.)