Posted on June 20, 2008
I, Svlad Cjelli
I’ve been slacking on Toynbee tile updates. A few weeks back, the first of the 08’ tiles appeared on center city streets. I’m slacking because after 2007’s re-introduction of original style tiles, these new ones just aren’t that exciting. With 1 minor exception, all are long, thin, 2-line tiles like this one:
* Photo credit: stardotjpg from the Tile message board.
To help make this uninspired batch more interesting, let’s try to trace in what order they were placed. We can also glean some interesting information from their placement.
All the new tiles were glued in crosswalks. Most are out near the center of the street. All the tiles were placed from a car. How do I know this?
All tiles appear on the side of an intersection where a car would stop for a light or sign. If you’re looking for tiles, this is a good place to start. If a road goes north, look on the crosswalk on the southern side. If it goes east, look on the western corner. All large tiles follow this pattern. Small, “index card” tiles placed between 2002 and 2007 don’t necessarily stick to this. Judging by placement, I’d say that the tiler has been using a car with increasing frequency in the last couple of years.
In contrast, a ton of new Robot Men appeared in the last couple weeks. None of these follow the glued by car pattern. They appear in any crosswalk or even in the middle of the block. They’re clearly put down by someone on foot.
Other, large new Toynbee tiles along City Ave. and Roosevelt Boulevard also suggest the use of a car. I don’t post about these tiles out of prejudice. For whatever reason the Greater Northeast and near suburbs have a hard time clicking in my mindspace.
But getting back to the new downtown Toynbee tiles, here’s how it went down:
1. The first tile was glued at Broad and JFK, where it merges westbound at City Hall. This is a large, 4-line index card style tile.
2. The tiler then continued south on Broad to Lombard, where he made a right. At 18th he made another right, dropping his 2nd tile at 18th and Spruce.
3. Continuing on 18th he dropped the third tile at 18th and Rittenhouse.
4. Finishing off his assault on the Square, the 4th went down at 18th and Walnut.
5. At Sansom, he made a left, dropping the 5th tile on Sansom at 20th.
6. He made a right at 20th and Sansom and dropped his next tile at 20th and Chestnut.
7. Going north on 20th to somewhere just past Vine, he cut back towards the city. After stopping off at Whole Foods, he made a right at 19th, dropping his next tile at Vine Street.
8. The next went down just a block away at 19th and the Parkway (north side)
9. Next was 19th and Arch.
10. 19th and JFK
11. 19th and Chestnut, then a left on Chestnut.
12. The last of the batch was dropped on Chestnut street at 17th Street.
Alternately, it’s possible that he didn’t turn at 18th and Sansom, instead traveling up 18th street past Vine, laying the 19th street tiles, making his Sansom Street turn at 19th, and rounding out the last 3 with numbers 5,6 and 12 in the list above.
Another theory states that I’ve completely lost it and should stop thinking about this for a while.