Alley behind a former nightclub in downtown Windsor is shown in this November 2013 photo. Windsor Star photo / Dax Melmer

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs…

A collection of signs in downtown Windsor

I love working in downtown Windsor.

Twenty years ago, when the newspaper that I work at silenced for good its Crabtree press at its former downtown location and christened modern German presses at a newly opened facility in the ‘burbs, there was talk that we may be moving too. Fortunately, most of the Windsor Star workers stayed downtown.

Sure, there are a lot of empty storefronts here. Panhandlers are everywhere — standing, sitting, even lying on the street — and their presence jolts you to reality about of the plight of the less-fortunate in our city. The sidewalks are gum-splattered. The boom-boom bass of passing cars on Ouellette is enough to rattle your teeth. It smells, sometimes. The occasional unruly cyclist, skateboarder or heavy-footed motorized scooter rider brushes too close for comfort. Hell, there are even rats running in the streets!

But there’s life here — not just the rats — and a beautiful waterfront too.

And there are the signs.

Walk on any street and you can find them. On storefronts. Etched in park benches and trees. On posters plastered to advertising poles on street corners.

These signs are a joy of discovery to those who make a living in working with words.

I decided to compile a collection of these signs, recorded on a smartphone, and post them here on an occasional basis. To paraphrase that great 1960’s statement song “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band, I see “signs, signs, everywhere signs.”

If you love Windsor, you may enjoy them. Or even if you just get a kick out of the quirky and curious, the inspirational and the strange, you may find something of value here.

And you don’t need a membership card to get inside.

1. Elvis has left the building

2. Why (not) Windsor?

3. Joy of sax

4. ¡Yo quiero TACOS, TACOS, & MORE TACOS¡

5. This little light of mine

6. Now playing at the Vanity: Hope

7. Street corner poetry

8. Shhh dammit!

9. Banner day — Bill Higgins: A tribute

10. A message about the medium

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 and follow him on Twitter.