Cafe Hon and the pink flamingo
I feel like I should weigh in on the Cafe Hon Pink Flamingo Issue, but I'm hesitant to do so.
Cafe Hon's owner, Denise Whiting, has received a letter from the city saying that she has to have a minor privilege permit because her flamingo projects out into public space.
She says the flamingo, made of resin, is “public art.”
I have a mild Oh for Heaven's Sake reaction to the flap -- aren't there more important things for city inspectors to worry about -- but the minute I say that, someone will come up with a really good argument why the bird should be taken down, or why Whiting should be taxed. And I'll feel foolish for thinking it wasn't important. ...
Buried in the story is the suggestion that a complaint triggered the city action. I wonder if a resident who was tired of the neighborhood's down-home image instigated it.
Midnight Sun Sam and I were talking about the story, and he told me about a restaurant in Federal Hill that found out from a city inspector it could have no more than three chairs at each outdoor table according to its license, and the tables had to be touching the restaurant exterior.
Inspectors, he's heard, are cracking down citywide on such infractions.
(Photo of the flamingo and the owner's son, Thomas Whiting, by Jed Kirschbaum/Sun photographer)