It started out that we were going to take a small group of kids to the 34th Street Grafitti Wall for Joey’s 9th birthday party. It’s where University of Florida students and others in the Gainesville community go to express themselves by painting all sorts of messages — some happy and inspirational, some simply advertising free beer (hey, it’s a college town, what do you expect?). Here’s a peek at what you might see on a drive-by of this wall that borders the University golf course and is commonly known as the city’s “concrete blog.”
Rumor has it that it’s technically illegal to paint this wall, although I made a call to the local police department and learned that it’s not illegal — it’s just not safe. You see, 34th Street is a crazy busy place, and we’d have to paint at our own risk. So even though Joey desperately wanted to leave his mark on the wall, we just couldn’t justify putting a bunch of kiddos in danger. So we improvised and created our own backyard grafitti wall. John hung three big pieces of wood, painted them all with a dark background color, and today, Joey and his friends and family went to town.
The crew painted their hearts out, and they went home with splattered hair, hands and clothing (smocks only do so much!). Before departing, though, they played a rousing game of Paint the Tail on the Donkey.
And we did some face painting, and sack races.
And of course, there were gifts, plus pizza and cake.
And because our outdoor party temps were tops at about 55 degrees, a bonfire with s’mores was in order, too. Overall, it was a swinging good time, a perfect celebration for a boy who turns 9 tomorrow (that means another party, just a quiet family one, no paint involved).