Monday, May 7, 2007

CDPB CHALLENGE: Toynbee Tiles

Attention amateur detectives, conspiracy theorists and devotees of the unknown:

I was crossing the intersection of 8th and Market Streets in downtown St. Louis a few days ago, a place I've walked thousands of times, when my eye fell on a spot of color in the street. What's this? It was made of some kind of tile embedded in the pavement. Toynbee...Kubrick...Jupiter?

No idea what this meant so it was Google to the rescue. It turns out to be a bizarre international phenomenon, the subject of much study and speculation. These mysterious tiles have a site that catalogs known locations and provides other references. Many have been destroyed in the course of routine road maintenance. There are reports that some cities, such as New York and Chicago, have deliberately attempted to erradicate them. By far the greatest number are found in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, there is no CDPB in Philadelphia. Now, if someone was waiting for a reason...

The game's afoot, Watson! The other two reported St. Louis locations are downtown and I will attempt to photograph them at once. CDPBers of the World, are there one or more Toynbee Tiles in your city? Let's see them.

TOMORROW: Will Strangetastes Find Other STL Tiles?

11 comments:

Victoria said...

Fascinating! I'm now really intrigued by these tiles...

Waldo Oiseau said...

Thanks for the links on this! I'll find the one in KC and post it ... hopefully this week .. if it ever stops raining!

U "R" Us said...

Looks like the Chicago ones have been pretty well documented: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=toynbee+chicago&m=text

RamblingRound said...

Strange indeed. Bring us more!

Strangetastes said...

Rambling - I went out at lunch with my camera and found a second. It has some additional text at the bottom of the rectangle that's hard to understand and I appreciate all help. This will be tomorrow's post. Coincidently, I can see it from my office window but it's just a blip in the pavement a block and a half away and 23 floors down.

There is a third location in STL listed on www.toynbee.net a couple of block away that I could not find. May need further research.

NDS said...

OK this is just a weird thing to stumble upon.

Tara said...

I've never seen anything like this in Baton Rouge, but I'll keep my eyes peeled. Although, knowing the condition of our roads, the tile may have disappeared in a pothole (which was full of stars)...

kris said...

cool, it is work of art to me..let's go hunting!

Karine said...

Humm very interesting finding. I'm not sure there are such things in Buenos Aires, and I've never seen one myself. Very interesting article in Wikipedia too :)

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Thanks for the fascinating story. I am going to print out the NYC list and try and find them this weekend.

Stay tuned.

Bill said...

None in Delta. Darn :)