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On Tuesday, May 20, 2020, I was walking up Plymouth Street in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.  I stopped in my tracks at the site of a downed stop sign – pictured above – inadvertently proving that its powers had not diminished in accord with its physical stature.

Downed stop sign in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.
The downed stop sign in Vinegar Hill. Photo taken by N.A. Ferrell with his BlackBerry Classic on May 20, 2020. Edited for publication, with minor sticker censorship, by V. Gurbo.

The Murky Past of the Downed Stop Sign

While we cannot be sure of the exact circumstances of the stop sign’s uprooting, I will venture from having seen its warped base (not pictured) that it was fallen by a car that did not heed its instructions as well as I did.  If my theory is correct, this poor stop sign was exceptionally unfortunate in consideration of the fact that the slice of Vinegar Hill in which I found it is lightly trafficked. We can, however, be sure that the sign was moved after it fell, for it sat leaning neatly against a balding on the far side of the sidewalk.

The back of the stop sign was adorned by pictures. Since sticking stickers on the back of a standing stop sign would be troublesome, I think that the sticker stickers struck after the sign was already down.

Stop Sign Indignities

After uploading my BlackBerry Classic photo to the computer, I found that several of the stickers on the rear of the downed stop sign were not amenable to publication.  One of the stickers, which need not be described here, was quite crude.  Two stickers referenced a web address which looked a bit shady.  Another sticker was unclear – but I decided to err on the side of caution.  I asked our photo editor, Victor V. Gurbo, to obscure the aforementioned stickers while enhancing the photo.  Victor, after all, recently made clear repeatedly that The New Leaf Journal is a wholesome family website.  You will find, however, that we left a cactus sticker untouched.  We like cacti here at The New Leaf Journal.  A cactus plant flea market sounds wholesome enough for all publishing purposes.

Waiting For a New Home?

To the best of my knowledge, the downed stop sign continues to recline where I found it in the May sun.  If so, I suppose it is open season for authentic stop sign collectors.  As you can see in the photo, the stop sign comes with a complementary – albeit warped – one way sign.  Although the one way sign certainly had seen better days, the fact that I kept going in the same direction after stopping to take a picture suggests that it still works as originally intended.