Category Archives: Graffiti

The Protractor Map: A New High, A New Location

I stumbled on No. 454, No. 455 and No. 456 while crossing the Smithfield Street Bridge the other day. The previous high number on the Master List was No. 418. Trivia: Other bridges with protractors: the Charles Lieberth Bridge, the 16th Street … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A High Run, from Susans

I’m working through a big backlog of old finds and new submissions, starting with this recent run, which, by complete coincidence, involves three women named Susan or Susie. Susie B. found No. 412 on Friendship Avenue and No. 413 on … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Millvale Trail

I’ve been slowly chasing down submissions from the past year. This week I went to the Millvale Trail, which previously hosted No. 301, and now hosts many more protractors. David Bennett and Nanci (separately) found No. 352 on a railroad … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Seventh Smattering, A Clear One

These are a selection of older protractors collected over the past year. I cannot promise all of these are still glued to the city, although some are fairly recent. Among this crop is an oddity: No. 325, the first clear … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: The Map

The Protractor Map now includes all the protractors on the Master List. Because of the deficiencies in the Google Map system, it is unfortunately spread over two pages.

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The Protractor Map: 400s

It must be summer in Pittsburgh because there are new protractors on the streets. After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to start maintaining this list again. I have a backlog of sightings to post in the coming weeks, but for … Continue reading

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MD: I

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CHU: I

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The Protractor Map: Gold Way

The new stash includes No. 367 to No. 373, a nice, clean run along Gold Way from North Oakland into Polish Hill. Trivia: No. 373 is a memorial pasted onto the ghost of No. 242. The Master List. And the Geometric … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Year Two(ish)

Improbably, the protractors continue to tickle the public imagination. Viewings to these posts increased sharply this week after months of limited activity. I attribute this primarily to Assignment Pittsburgh including the protractors on their weekly photo scavenger hunt, but also … Continue reading

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Baum Boulevard: No. 131

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Baum Boulevard: No. 124

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Baum Boulevard: No. 111 and No. X1

If you haven’t been keeping up with the story, the narrator recently stepped off the bus, found an October bus pass in his/her pocket and is now pondering a recent Rally. EDIT: It turned out to be a Rally’s Hamburger … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Ghosts III

With the arrival of spring, construction crews are painting and scraping and cleaning the city, leaving us with an array of newly ghosted protractors. The updated Master List. The ghosts:

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VLAG

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Baum Boulevard: No. 41 and No. 68

Well, the Baum Boulevard words are proving much more difficult to track down than the protractors, presumably because they aren’t superglued onto flat surfaces. I found the location of No. 41 (February 10) using background clues, but the word wasn’t … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: All Around Mulberry Way

For I while now I’ve suspected that Mulberry Way, a discontinuous alley running the length of the Strip District, held a wealth of unfound protractors. With the lovely weather yesterday, I took a ride down there to check it out. … Continue reading

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“Baum Boulevard” (An Excerpt)

Walking up Liberty Avenue this morning, something colorful caught my eye. It was a plastic canvas attached to a rusty guard pole by two black zip ties. It had the word “the” cross-stitched on it in yellow, against a blue … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Ghost, A Modification

Coming down Friendship Avenue on Monday, I noticed that a construction crew had moved the trashcan from its spot on the corner and I got a bad feeling. Sure enough, No. 73 was missing. This loss is especially sad, seeing … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Sixth Smattering, A Correction

Even after all this time, I still occasionally turn down an alley and discover a run of protractors that must have been pasted up months ago. The Master List now includes more than two hundred entries, but the highest protractor … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Clue

This is the first of several updates planned for this week, including some gaps filled and a charming discovery that should put a smile on the face of protractorites young and old. I found No. 148 in prolific Mulberry Way … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: More Ghosts

It is time, once again, to honor those protractors ghosted in recent months by property owners and construction crews. So long No. 44, No. 53, No. 79, No. 88 and No 183.

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The Protractor Map: The Hyperlocal Mapping Party

The image above comes from the new Protractor Map that will part of the Hyperlocal Mapping Party at Assemble on Wednesday, January 11, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you are a kid, or have a kid, or think like a … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Returns!

After an early autumn hiatus, the Protractor Map triumphantly returns to The Ongoing History of Pittsburgh, coaxed from its hibernation by three exciting developments. First, people continue to fill in gaps by finding protractors. I found No. 37 and No. … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Ghosts, Etc.

The semi-circle of life: new protractors go up and old protractors come down. I found four ghosts around town, including the one above. I also found three previously unnoticed protractors: No. 44, No. 217 and No. 265. Finally, a new … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Fifth Smattering, Two Runs, A Surprise

It’s been a while, but the absence has been fruitful. First, the oddities. The image above is of No. 118m, m for “modified,” a protractor on the Graham Street Bridge that someone decorated in tribal face paint. The ghost of … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Fourth Smattering

Well, they just keep coming. Andy sent in a tip about No. 48, connecting a thread from North Oakland to Schenley Park. I found No. 274 on Fifth Avenue and, based on The Master List, suspect it helps connect the North … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: No. 39h, An Homage

The original.

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The Protractor Map: A Third Smattering

The search is winding down, but searchers continue to report discoveries.

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The Protractor Map: Protest

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The Protractor Map: A Second Smattering

My friend and roommate Corey typically dreams up imaginatively sadistic outcomes for this venture. In one, I awake to find a protractor embedded in my chest. In another, a black protractor appears in the sky above our apartment (think Dark … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Mt. Oliver

The other night I dreamed I found protractor No. 9 (green) under the light switch in my childhood bedroom. I asked about it at dinner and one of the women in my family took credit for the whole thing. She … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: An Oddity, A Smattering

The protractor pictured above is an anomaly for three reasons. First, it’s glued to the ground, a rarity. Second, it’s the only protractor found to date glued to concrete, rather than metal. Third, it’s the only protractor found to date … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: To The South Side

First: The twins, No. 64 and No. 127, are gone. Next: Several sources from the bike riding community recently discovered a run of very high numbers approaching and then crossing the Monongahela River. They begin in South Oakland and follow … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Protractorski

First, a memorial: No. 134 now resides beneath a layer of paint. An interesting thing about the protractors: when a wall gets painted, they are the only tag that remains. I walked to Polish Hill Arts Festival on Sunday and … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Deduction

The Protractor Map is mostly an act of documentation, but it occasionally becomes an act of conjecture. Sometimes protractors get painted over or peeled away or broken off, and in those instances I try my best to deduce the number and … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Gaps, Filled

The protractors are easier to find than to notice. Being small and flat, you can be walking on one side of the street and miss protractors on the other side of the street, or be walking in one direction and … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: The Bloomfield Hollows

On a run through the Bloomfield Hollows last week, I found Protractor No. 111 glued to a wall half-hidden behind some overgrowth. A protracting friend told me he found several others while walking a dog through down there later that … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Relaunched

The Protractor Map is back online. I originally removed the postings because I didn’t want the material to become a fulcrum used to push something I like over a cliff. Over the past week, though, I’ve not only found many … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: The end, for now

If you’ve come here looking for more information about the protractors, I’m sorry to say I took the postings down this morning. The protractors initially caught my interest because searching for them felt like stumbling onto a charming citywide mystery. … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Bloomfield Bridge

One of the sub-mysteries of the protractors is the location of No. 196, seen in the top image from a website about Bloomfield graffiti. This afternoon I found the location, but not the protractor. Whoever removed it did so cleanly. … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: A Bounty

I trekked around the North Side yesterday to pick up the huge stash of protractors found by everyone at the Bike Pittsburgh blog (particularly fungicyclist). Mark came along, as did a reporter from the Tribune-Review who is writing an article … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Friendship Park

I found this one on a bench in Friendship Park today, number removed. If you haven’t swung by the Bike Pittsburgh blog recently, please do so. Fungicyclist and my friend Mark have been incredibly productive on both the high and … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 57, f93, 95

The other day I saw some city workers fixing this utility box and the next day the Protractor No. 93 was gone. It’s surprising that more haven’t been removed, I guess. Also, Ross found No. 95 on the section of … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: The North Side

Well, well, well. So two commenters at Bike Pittsburgh have discovered a fresh crop of very high numbers charting a course through the North Side. I hope to add pictures soon.

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The Protractor Map: Theories

FIRST: “In Chinatown, in the dark window of a herbalist, she thought she saw it on a sign among ideographs. But the streetlight was dim. Later, on a sidewalk, she saw two of them in chalk, 20 feet apart. Between … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 128, 197, 209, 210, 229, 230

The Great Protractor Hunt is now consuming many productive hours from many hardworking Pittsburghers, and I greatly appreciate their camaraderie in this obsession. Onward: My friend Ross discovered three protractors this week, No. 128 (seen above), No. 209 at Coral and … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Digitized

There is much news to report. First, we’ve found two more protractors. No. 86 (seen above) recently appeared on the staircase from Ellsworth to Highland, halfway down from its brother, No. 87 (also seen above, a rare double). No. 180 … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 27, 39, 53, 185.2, 224, 231, 232

The protractors are definitely proliferating. I believe this for three reasons. First, I recently found No. 185.2 (another duplicate, see No. 82.1 and No. 82.2) in a spot I pass often. Second, some recent finds look less-weathered and feature different … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: The Master List

After the jump is The Master List for The Protractor Map, updated as of Nov. 19, 2013.

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 117, 170, 182, 216, 222

The hunt for protractors is both slowing and broadening. I’m having increasing difficulty finding unfound entries, but friends continue to come through. I thank Stephanie M. (No. 117), Corey W. (No. 182) and Anna R. (No. 222, the new highest … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 56, 81, 90, 187, 202

Andy Johnson found three more protractors — No. 56, No. 90 and No. 187 — including another ripped loose (although not completely this time). Corey W. found No. 202. (EDIT — February 26, 2012: No. 90 is actually No. 190.) … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 118, 119, 120, XXX (122), 123

I crossed Graham Street over the East Busway on a whim this morning and found three consecutive protractors affixed to the bridge, No. 118, No. 119 and No. 120. Since I previously found No. 121 on a utility box at … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 32, 46, 49, 50, 64/127, 79, 142, 155, 176

Last night I dreamed that my landlord took responsibility for the protractors. I caught him gluing No. 338 to the railing of a bridge overlooking a wooded valley. I asked him why he had been gluing protractors to things. He … Continue reading

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The Protractor Map: Nos: 82s, 121, 125, 130, 171, 179, 183, 185

I’ve added another nine protractors to the map, including three (82.1, 183, 185) found, photographed and submitted by Andy Johnson. There are, oddly, two No. 82’s.

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 173, 174, 175, 177, 201

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The Protractor Map: Nos. 28, 29, 55, 78, 131, 158

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The Protractor Map: Prologue (Nos. 73, 87, 93, 124, 129, 212)

Well, it’s come to this. For months I’ve been finding numbered protractors epoxied onto flat surfaces all over the East End. I’ve asked around, but no one seems to know what they’re all about. A bit of poking around the … Continue reading

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