Why (not) Windsor?

Sometimes, the most intriguing signs are the half-signs.

They are parts of posters that have been partially ripped over time. What remains is a question mark, figuratively — or in this case, part of a question mark in the literal sense:

Why Windsor? 5.19.

It’s like some kind of code discovered on a sunny fall day. The numbers, if they refer to the calendar, would mean this sign has been stuck on the window of the old Fish Market on Chatham and Ferry streets for months.

Turns out this sign refers to a creative exploration similar to what I’m doing here. In my experiment, I’m trying to capture expressions in signs that I see (on windows and buildings, in trees and benches and anywhere else) in downtown Windsor. In the case of the “Why Windsor?” series, Khoa Nguyen went out and took 100 portraits in 100 days and turned them into an exhibit.

“I went headlong into it and one day I went out and started approaching random strangers at establishments I went to and it just grew from there,” he told the Windsor Star.

It’s a shame the poster did not include any of the portraits that Nguyen shot, but then that’s part of the mystery: it forces you to explore, to discover the #100days100portraits series. You end up seeing all his portraits online, people like Anthony who was photographed on day 52.

It’s a charming, candid shot of a random stranger, a boy with a simple dream and wholesome outlook on life. “I know why I was put on this earth and it’s not to become a doctor or a lawyer or even a president, but only a friend to those who are in need,” Anthony says.

Anthony’s just part of the charm of downtown Windsor, one of the signs of life on our streets.

Part of “Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs” series. Click here to see more.

Claudio D’Andrea has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazine and online publications for 30 years. You can read his stuff on LinkedIn and Medium.com and follow him on Twitter.