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Haikus grace parking signs in West Hollywood

January 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
From a distance, they look routine, but there's something special about the parking signs that have gone up in West Hollywood.If you've driven around West Hollywood lately, you might have noticed some new signs, and you may have been confused.

These signs look just like the street signs we see every day, except they are haiku poems, and they're not even all in English. Some are in Spanish, and a few are even in Russian.

"What is it, a bus stop? Or what is it? Because I just don't get it," said one confused onlooker.

January is L.A.'s art month, and the city of West Hollywood has agreed to 14 of these unusual signs in and around the city.

"What's really great about them is, especially most of the time we're on the street, we're rushing from one place to the next, so when you look at the sign, you get to take a moment for yourself," said West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land.

"Well, haikus are mostly really short, so they fit on a sign, but more importantly for me, a haiku poem in its essence is a brief moment in time that is captured and then shared," said artist Rebecca Lowry.

People walking by seemed to be open to the idea.

"I think a lot of our residents are kind of used to different things, and when they look at it, it's like, 'I bet this has something to do with art,' or, 'The city is up to something,'" said Land. "When you read the haikus, they're all so beautiful that I don't think we're going to have any complaints whatsoever."

"I think it looks fun, and I think people will appreciate it being arty and fun-looking," said one passer-by.

As far as the different languages go, Land said that it was important to reflect the different communities in the area.

"For us, it was really important that this project did have signs in Russian and in Spanish so that everyone in our community, it was accessible to them," said Land.

These signs will be up for about 6 months, so next time you're taking a stroll through West Hollywood, take a look around and enjoy a new piece of art.