They were all curiously close together, as if the stencil-er worked within an arbitrary ten-foot radius... no less than five duplicates of this stencil, strewn on the ground along the edge of the garage, on the alley that runs behind the south side of Chicago Avenue, where it meets the Noble Street sidewalk. I wish my cameraphone was able to capture the whole scene in one shot.
Oddly enough, if you stood in the center of the stencils and looked up, you'd see a big sign advertising the crappy company that manages my apartment building. (I say "crappy" because it's nicer than saying "slumlord".) I know what some of you are thinking, but I didn't set this up. Honest. If I wanted to be mean, I'd have deliberately posted a photo of the sign, too.
I told myself I wasn't going to rail on graffiti for a while (having the building management mention conveniently gives me an alternate bad guy in this story), and I normally don't photograph things people paint on the sidewalk, but...
when I found the stencil laying on the ground less than one block away, I knew I'd need photos to explain this chance happening as a sort of "compound coincidence"... plus, I knew this presented a new secret for the city: what I did with the stencil after I picked it up and walked away with it.