Isn’t This Wildly Inappropriate?

Last Wed. evening we learned of the horrific accident seriously injuring two SAIS students (last I heard they were still in the hospital) by a drunk driver who also plowed into the Keren Restaurant at 1780 Florida Ave, NW. After the Adams Morgan Day Festival I was walking past the storefront and noticed that it appears somebody put some graffiti art of a car in the window. For some reason the car also says NASA. I probably support some instances of graffiti art more than others but I found this to be really distasteful. I mean the injured students are still in the hospital.

Am I overreacting or does this seem wildly inappropriate?

46 Comment

  • Drunk driving is distasteful. Bad and irresponsible driving, including the all too prevalent texting while driving, that results in bodily harm, including to dogs, is distasteful. The temporary window replacement expression-vehicle is well, just that. Kind of like, bring it on Igor! Sure, sometimes wildly inappropriate has its place.

  • Props to PoP, for having the information…and keeping it in perspective.

  • The car in the accident was a Dodge Charger. That appears to be a Ford Explorer or similar full-size SUV, but certainly not a Charger. Therefore, I’m inclined to say believe it’s not a tasteless recreation of the accident, but has some other meaning. Now I’m intrigued…

    • Car nerd here. The car in the accident was a Dodge Caliber, much smaller than a Charger. An economy car. Very common in rental fleets. Bzzzzzz.

      The graffiti can cut both ways: on the one hand, as a tribute to the pain and loss of the accident or as a vibrant urban artistic expression (which feels right for Adams Morgan); on the other hand, as PoP feels, an irreverent and inappropriate expression at an inappropriate time.

      Of these two, I think an initial reaction of the latter should give way in short order to the former. Time = perspective.

  • seems like it could serve as a reminder.

  • didnt sollys also throw up an image of a car when there was an accident there?

    personally i dont think this is a big deal. the girls that got struck, yes, big deal. phototiles of a car. not so much.

    • They did (actually of a busted up cab, as a cab crashed into the bar). But no one got hurt in that incident. I think this is different, as the students were seriously injured. My vote is for distasteful.

  • Yeah…this seems to be a thing with restaurants in DC. Get your facade plowed in, put up some car-related art while you repair.

  • So will the Brass Knob be putting up a picture of…

  • No question, completely inappropriate.

  • I love that ppl are decorating this until repairs can be made. This serves as a reminder of what happened here, and a reminder that this isn’t an empty store front, but a business recovering from tragedy. I also love the “no standing, private parking only” sign. Call me insensitive, but I think humor is a great way to deal with tragedy.

  • I bike by this every day on my commute. I didn’t like it when I first saw it and don’t like it now. It’s an annoying non sequitur.

  • It’s not inappropriate at all. Are we really *that* sensitive as a people now?

    If the restaurant plastered up images of the wreck, victims, etc., that *might* be inappropriate. But really, it’s just smashed up car art in a place where there was an accident. There’s nothing there that is badgering, or disrespectful, or anything at all, just an image of metal and plastic that is shaped like a car.

    What’s wrong with that?

  • I like it. I especially like that it looks like it’s made of about 80 pieces of paper probably printed at work.

  • Um, I was thinking “tasteless” more than inappropriate, but I’m a misanthrope and it gave me a bit of a chuckle…

  • It’s not a big deal at all, we all need to stop being so sensitive.

  • i think it looks pretty cool.. back to the future!

  • I don’t think it is distasteful. For those saying it is, what exactly is the rationale? A car smashed into a restaurant and people. The restaurant now has an image of a car over the spot the car hit. Am I missing something here about how this is somehow inconsiderate to the unfortunate victims of this accident? Why is it not a reminder of the damage that improperly operated motor vehicles can cause? Why would you take it as an affront to the pedestrians?

  • It gave me a nice little jolt of shock value, which is kind of the point of this type of art, so I vote yes.

    Appropriate/inappropriate doesn’t seem like the correct rating scale to me, somehow.

  • It’s tasteless and inappropriate because it’s graffiti and show lack of respect and sensitivity. I disapprove of it on the basis of the immediacy of its installment and the fact that it doesn’t serve as a reminder at all. It has a vague connection to the incident (it’s a car, but not the same one), and most likely placed there without the owner’s approval.

    However, if the owners of Keren made the decision to post the graffiti, then I might feel differently.

    • So, is the sign that says “Eagerly await your quick return” also graffiti? Clearly the owner didn’t post it, someone else did. Where do you draw the line? Seems pretty arbitrary to me. This seems more like a pro/anti-street art discussion to me.

      As a neighbor, I hope this is turns into a mural/hodgepodge of images added by all different people. I would much rather see some creativity than blank pieces of plywood. (At least until Keren can rebuild)

  • I think the appropriate vs inappropriate question would kind of go away if it was complemented with an explicit “don’t drink and drive” message.

  • Regardless of whether or not it’s inappropriate, I think it’s a pretty poorly-executed piece of crap, put up by someone who thinks he/she is an artist.

  • Sad, one of the pedestrians hit just passed away

    I imagine the driver will now be charged with vehicular homicide.

  • Vehicular manslaughter is pretty distasteful too. Julia was such a lovely young lady, so tragic a promising life has to end this way. Now everyone please put down your blackberries and Iphones and pay attention to the freakin’ road!

  • Art school dropouts shouldn’t weigh in on events like this.

    If there was a stronger effort to articulate a message, like the white bikes at 20th & R, I’d accept this as public art. This “art” feels more opportunistic than sincere, and mildly lazy in it’s execution.

    I wish there were cops stationed on 18th that pulled over even 1/100th of the drunks who drive on weekends. I’ve seen numerous accidents, hit and runs, etc along 18th. It infuriates me.

  • One victim, a student from Austria at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, succumbed to the injuries she received here. Shouldn’t it be a memorial to the victim? Flowers, and sweet remembrances.

  • For what it’s worth, “NASA” is the tag of a local paste artist in DC. You can see his or her work all over Adams Morgan, Logan Circle, and Dupont Circle if you keep your eyes peeled…

  • Wheat paste isn’t art.

  • The things that urban hipster liberals find inappropriate i will never understand.

    Rampant crime, crap schools and other consequences (unintended AND intended) are just fine and dandy.

    Heck, even graffiti is fine and dandy!

    But some artist comes along and the ox he decides to gore happens to be a liberal one (i.e. drunk drivers are the worst people on earth), and suddenly the art is “wildly inappropriate”.

    If the artist had, instead, made a giant piece of graffiti art on the window, depicting a urine-submerged crucifix or something equally prurient and revolting, everyone would be golf-clapping and saying the artist’s pain is man’s pain, and whatnot.

    And he’d be in the running for an NEA grant.

  • it was all torn up when i last saw it.

  • Yes, you are overreacting. This is not ‘wildly inappropriate.’

  • Well now that I know its meant as a piece of art, and not a joke, I thought “nasa” was in reference to the car’s attempt to fly or something. Huh, whatever.

    Drunk or not, that left turn is a pretty oblique angle. I wonder how many cars have had trouble with that left? The new street scape looks like it will remedy this problem.

    I’m shocked and sorry to hear that one of the victims died. Sadly, it never seems to be the driver that passes in drunk driving incidents.

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