Lynn Truss who wrote Eats, Shoots and Leaves: the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a woman after my own heart. She wishes for a ‘grammar police force’ that would hunt down and arrest merchants with ungrammatical signs on their storefronts and others who abuse the King’s English.
I share her peeve and have another one as well – I wish for a ‘tacky police force’, and I’d send them to East 86th Street to rescue the pear!
In the 1980s the gifted graphic artist Milton Glaser designed a wonderful sculpted pale green pear to be hung on the facade of the Grand Union supermarket on East 86th Street in Yorkville, my Manhattan neighborhood.
The prolific artist died recently at age 91, but if you hadn’t known his name, you certainly know his art – Milton Glaser created the iconic “I ❤️ NY” logo, the psychedelic Bob Dylan album cover, the clever cover art for the legendary Underground Gourmet NY restaurant guide, and the “ads” on TV’s Mad Men, among hundreds or probably thousands of other images and designs.
But now look what they’ve done to his pear!
A few years ago that neighborhood Grand Union became a Gristedes supermarket and I noticed the pear was repainted – it was now a more pear-ish yellow – as if it had ripened! So far, so good!
Then Gristedes decided to sell fresh flowers, also good.
But then an ugly bleacher-like structure was erected in front of the store to hold the flower bins which now abuts and dwarfs Glaser’s wonderful pear. So now if you’re walking eastbound along 86th Street you can’t even see it. And sadder still if you’re walking westbound you’ll see the once delightful pear hanging there looking forlorn and forgotten, hemmed in by tacky paraphernalia.
I sure hope Milton Glaser never came uptown to Yorkville to buy his flowers.
Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!