Curb Appeal: Baker City

I don’t know if it’s that living in this town makes people want to put crap all over their front yards, or if people who like to put crap all over their yards like to live in this town.  Kind of a chicken-and-egg-type conundrum.

Either way, for such a small town there seems to be a disproportionate amount of people who reject traditional indoor shelving and have  chosen instead to display their junk  in their front yards.

My husband likens this phenomenon to the flair on Jennifer Aniston’s Chotchkie’s vest in the movie Office Space. Many residents of this town are happy to get by on a minimum amount of flair. But there are also many residents who want to express themselves. And we encourage that.

So it is for those pioneers of outdoor self-expression that I introduce the first in a periodic series I shall call Curb Appeal: Baker City.  Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to purchase a home with about 100 horse figurines on wooden planks outside? Or how about a skeleton dressed as a pirate? A miniature donkey pulling a tiny wooden cart?

Well, let’s get started, shall we? We begin with a house that is just a few blocks away from my own gem of a residence, so it was no problem to snap a few covert photos while walking my children home from the park.

boo-yah, HGTV!

You might have to click on the image to get a bit of a closer look, depending on whether or not you’re using your 50-inch TV to read this post. I have blurred out the address so none of you try to come over and steal any of this dude’s plastic animals. Or the wooden bear with a fishing pole on the porch (it says, “Fish on!”). And I can think of at least one of you specifically who probably has his or her eye on that animal skull hanging from the mailbox.

But what really first draws the eye is the celebration of tropical birds on the door. I actually have to take a deep breath when I see that so I don’t punch someone in the face.

There is so much inspiration here. For example, I’ve never even thought of taking animal skulls and hanging them from my mailbox. Or look! A little blue shark with some coral in the bottom right corner of this photo. B.T. has ocean-themed toys hidden away in his bathtub right this second. How are they ever going to benefit society if I don’t let them go public?

There are actually quite a few little themed vignettes sprinkled around this outdoor carnival of fine art. Here is the religious portion of the yard:

dear jesus, i’m coming, just as soon as i get my tiny helicopter started.

Of course there is the standard cross, and a couple of praying figurines. And then… a helicopter – to go up to Jesus? Towards the bottom, we have what appears to be a mini TV on a rock, on top of a birdhouse with a bird hanging out by his little birdy feet. If all this doesn’t say, “I love you, Jesus,” I honestly don’t know what does.

One of my favorite things about this home’s outdoor situation is that these objects weren’t just thrown there. Oh, no. This yard has been straight curated. I know because once when I was passing by I saw a dude outside picking through a white bucket full ofrandom objects and he was actually pretty meticulous about which  was going where. Sort-of like how I imagine it would be to watch Beethoven compose a symphony, but instead of beautiful music for the ears he’s like opening fire on your eyes with his machine gun of dollar store knick-knacks.

Now I need to hear from you: what’s your favorite things about this dude’s front yard? Do you feel even the tiniest bit guilty for hoarding your children’s toys away when they could be giving your bushes a little zest?

Yay for the zesty bushes of Baker City!



4 thoughts on “Curb Appeal: Baker City

  1. Girl, it is really difficult for me to decide on a favorite part. At first, I really liked the tiny TV on top of the rock. But then, I noticed the canteen hanging from the American flag. And while I was gazing at that with nothing but jealousy in my eyes, something to the right caught my eye. Now, I can’t quite tell what is happening here. You can faintly make out the word “Relax”. However, it looks like maybe the “l” has been replaced with an image of a cross. This clever replacement (if it is a replacement and not just a trick of the eye) makes the word look like it is “Retax”. Which is just hilarious on so many levels! Oh, girl…this is sure to be one of my favorite recurring blog posts!

  2. Well, I do enjoy the entire underwater themed area… and I myself would consider hanging an animal skull and a fake animal head by my door to detour visitors that had questionable intentions.
    The small part of the yard that speaks to me most though, is the Black Sports Car to the right of the stairs that is mounted in such a way that it appears to be lifting off for flight! This display gives me hope for my own life. The car itself does not appear to possess any amazing attributes, yet it is embarking on an adventure that undoubtedly will yield amazing adventures! The home owner was obviously trying to convey an important message to us all: Anything is Possible! We should never sell ourselves short or give up too soon…because there are no limits to our dreams.

    Home owner: thank you for the valuable lesson. Corinne: thank you for not keeping these valuable lessons for only yourself. The world needs to know.

  3. I have been seriously deprived for too many years not being able to rummage around in a real good junky thrift/antique type store since moving here to WA, so this all looks good to me. Not that I would put it all on my front lawn, but I do appreciate others being true to themselves, so we all can enjoy these ordinary treasures of life. Hopefully soon you’ll be able to meet these pioneers of trash on one of your walks, and I bet when you do, there is probably a story and meaning behind each and every teeny tiny item that will just blow your mind.

  4. Pingback: Curb Appeal: Baker City, The Tonto House | Trapped Nowhere

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