In "Sounds of Silence," Paul Simon wrote, "the words of the prophets are written the on the subway walls."
I've been riding daily and haven't been on the subway. But I have seen, if not the words of the prophets, then at least expressions of the zeitgeist, if from different points of view.
During my Saturday ride to Point Lookout, I chanced upon this in Lido Beach:
I don't think I've seen such a large US flag anywhere else, let alone in front of a suburban house. When I stopped to take the photo, I talked to a man walking his dog. He said the house is "outsize for this neighborhood" and that he's seen "the flag more than the people who live there." I quipped that I've lived in apartments smaller than that flag.
Not only is its size overwhelming: It's placed so that in whichever direction you walk, ride or drive, you can't not see it.
As I've said in earlier posts, ostentatious displays of outsized flags--often seen on the back of "coal rollers"--seem less like expressions of patriotism and more like acts of aggression.
In contrast, during yesterday afternoon's ride down the waterfront, from my Astoria apartment to Red Hook, I saw something more inclusive on one of the last ungentrified blocks of Long Island City.
The author of that bit of graffiti, I suspect, also gave us this:
That person is not the enemy of the flag-flaunters and coal-rollers--and would surely know that I'm not, either.