Friday, November 13, 2009

Digital Billboard on Corner of Canal and Hudson an Absolute Menace To Public Safety

Or at least a quality of life issue and potential mental health hazard if you happen to live in the units directly adjacent to the display, your windows facing it.

This screen resides at Polo Electric, 497 Canal St, near Hudson St, where it has been built into the buildings wall. As you can tell in the video above, it is not just the size or brightness of the display, but the ferocious manner in which the light blasts forth from what seems to be the heavens of the Lord himself.

Celebrity Vision, listed at the same address as Polo Electric, is the company marketing these. Their website states they only focus their advertising efforts on high traffic areas; specifically major tunnels and bridges. The better chance for a car accident we suppose.

Is this display legal? No serious, really. Not only might it be too bright, too big, too non-neighborly, but at an intersection already dangerous due to heavy traffic and multiple crossroads, it is potentially a serious impediment to the safe flow of traffic as it releases an orgasm of light all over your window shield, temporarily blinding you. 

In an area not (yet) known for an abundance of obnoxious advertisements and isolated from the busier nearby areas of Soho, the West Village, and Chinatown, this display befitting a Hollywood set for Las Vegas doesn't really blend in well at all. It's fully one story high, three feet deep, and 15 feet wide. As shown in the video above, the display shines directly in the windows of an adjacent apartment building, which must make for a wonderful living environment. This movie screen on steroids was brought to our attention earlier this week when traveling east down Canal in a cab. Convinced a car was flashing his lights at him, the driver was irritated. Surely we were being pulled over by the police. But it wasn't a vehicle behind him flashing his lights, it was the display across the street.

Walking down the street, the lights easily followed us to the Avenue of the Americas, two long blocks away east. The glow from 497 Canal is reaching the area, bouncing off buildings, car windows, and illuminating the sidewalk. It was as if your own personal rain cloud was following, except in this case the rain cloud was the inside of a nightclub.

Yay New York (!!) and their hands off attitude, where you are free to express yourself in any way you see fit, except of course if you are a person, in which case you better cut it out.
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