We had a pleasant email exchange with East Village resident and EV Grieve reader James C. Taylor the other day. He sent us the following photo, noting that he was veering slightly off of our usual beat.
As much as we think we pay attention to things, such as street signs, I didn't see what the big deal was. He wrote:
"I spotted another example of New York City's impending Americanization: my first sighting of the generic conformist street signs. They may not look like much, but I was still shocked by their ability to make a quiet corner of Greenwich Village look like... well, every other town in the US."
Huh, don't these look like the street signs from, say, this corner?
The signs themselves are basically the same, he said. The difference lies in the type. (He's a graphic designer, so he's into the whole font thing.)
"Notice how 'Greene' and 'St' are lower case? The signs on 9th and B (and all the others, going back to the yellow and black signs) all used a condensed uppercase typeface. The change is part of a federal mandate for all street signs to use a lowercase font called Clearview. I remember reading about it a few months back but hadn't seen one of the new signs until [the other day]."
Anyway, somehow we missed this entertaining story from the Daily News last Oct. 1, in which Bloomberg was a dick when asked about the federal mandate to change the font and capitalization on 250,000 city street signs by 2018.
Said James: "I used to refer to events like these as the encroachment of 'America' upon New York City, but these days it seems like New York is just submitting willingly to whatever 'America' wants. C'mon New York, where's your fight?"
According to that Daily News article, there was one man ready to stand up for New York: Rep. Anthony Weiner. Per the article: "Weiner ... wasn't shy about saying where he stood on the matter. He's considering sending a letter to the feds 'but I'm trying to figure out whether to put STUPID in all caps so they'll understand it.'"