Thursday, August 14, 2014

Confusing Camisetas

Camiseta is the Spanish word for T-shirt. Especially popular here are T-shirts displaying the names of American destinations, universities, and teams.

Most of the T-shirts are made in China. Printed in English. For a Spanish audience.

New York City — Manhattan, Brooklyn, [The] Bronx, and Staten Island are commonly featured. But rarely correctly. (The fifth borough, Queens, doesn't get much play.) 

(Click the images. Some will get bigger. None will make more sense.)

WHOA. THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A REALLY TOUGH GANG...
THEY HAD THEIR OWN 100% COTTON, PRE-SHRUNK T-SHIRTS. (I WONDER WHAT THE CITY CREW DID.)

Just the other day I passed someone wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of that great American university, New York City State. Although I myself have never heard of it, I'm sure it must be huge. After all, someone made T-shirts.

THERE'S AN ADDRESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS "1978 BROOKLYN" SHIRT,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT WAS AT 235 MYRTLE AVENUE IN 1978,
BUT IT'S NOT THERE NOW.

One morning, while Judyshannonstreetwhat (click here for that post) was still here, we were having coffee downstairs at Cafe El Noventa when a little boy walked by with his mother. As you may remember, Judy is from Seattle, Washington, and so, apparently, was the little boy's T-shirt.

JUDY HAD NEVER HEARD OF A ROAD NAMED ROUTE 306,
I QUICKLY GOOGLED IT;  IT'S NOT A ROAD BUT A CITY TRANSIT BUS LINE.
AND IT DEFINITELY WON'T TAKE YOU TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA,
WHICH IS 1,828 KM (1,136 MILES) SOUTH.

A VISITOR FROM MOROCCO, WITH HIS PARENTS AND BROTHER.
THEY HAD NO IDEA WHAT "CONEY ISLA ND BEA CH" WAS.
(NOR HAVE I EVER SEEN PALM TREES AND AGAVES GROWING THERE.)

DAVID (Dah-VEED), AT CAFE EL NOVENTA,
WEARING ONE OF HIS FAVORITE OLD T-SHIRTS.
I ASKED DAVID WHAT "WATCHING UPPER" WAS (OTHER THAN AN "HONOUR").
HIS RESPONSE: "NO TENGO IDEA." ("I HAVE NO IDEA.")  HE ASSUMED I WOULD KNOW.

I don't get it...

22 comments:

  1. Love the Homer Simpson clip!
    Neither do I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank:
      I wanted some music to go with this, but couldn't come up with anything appropriate. Stumbled onto Homer and thought it was perfect.

      Delete
  2. Definitely lost in translation Tshirts. My favorite is the Coney Island Beach one though. Couldnt they run the whole word in one line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      I've worked with many designers who see nothing wrong with breaking up words into meaningless visual shapes. But, in the case of the Coney Island T-shirt, I think the designer (and the wearer) had no idea what it was supposed to say.

      Delete
  3. I love the 't' with the address. And a 36-year-old address to boot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      I was actually surprised to even find a Myrtle Ave (and that number) in Brooklyn on Google Maps. Usually, they're completely fabricated.

      Delete
  4. Would T-shirts bearing the huge legend 'FCUK' be allowed there? (French Connection U.K.', of course). Maybe you've seen some yourself. I've heard that in USA some wearers have been ordered by the police to remove them. They're not as common here now as they were maybe four or five years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Oh, yeah, I see those here. Although not as often as I saw them in the States (Also 4 or 5 years ago, so I don't know if they're still so common). However, I have seen some unbelievably raunchy wording on some shirts here. Much of the time, the wearer has absolutely no idea what they're parading around in. Other times, they just have absolutely no sense.

      Delete
  5. I don't get it either. I have a T-shirt with the Trojan horse on it that I bought in Troy, Turkey, but I've never taken it out of its plastic wrap. You've inspired me to wear it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      And everyone will remember you as "the guy with the condoms shirt"!

      Delete
  6. Mitchell, the T-shirts with American logo are very popular and most wanted among teenagers.My daughter loves Americans names and so on. The first T-shirt is the best. I love it . I would like to have it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosia:
      But what you need is one that's actually correct!

      Delete
  7. Daaaavvviiidddddd
    Is very cute

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John:
      Yes he is. I told him what you said. He blushed.

      Delete
  8. These could become very trendy......trying to find the 'wildest' and most far-fetched! H-m-m-m.....
    I better start by checking out ours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      I wish I had the nerve to approach all the people I see wearing peculiar "American" T-shirts. Not everyone looks approachable, but some of the shirts are beyond bizarre!

      Delete
  9. Ahhhhh haaaaaa haaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :)))

    Now, as for the "Watching Upper".... there is a (very nice) town in New Jersey by the name of Watchung.... one of my sisters lives there :) Maybe it's a misspelling of that :) Also, I have heard some private schools referred to as "upper school" and "lower school" for the high-school vs middle school or grade school. Maybe they had juuuuuuuust enough information (like that) to get them in trouble come t-shirt design time ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy:
      Oh, I tried making sense of Watching Upper. Your theory is as close as it gets, I think, to a good possibility.

      Delete
  10. Well, I think I enjoyed this post, but I don't remember anything that came before Dah-VEED's photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Had to translate your comment to Dah-VEED this morning. He said maybe he should take bids on the T-shirt. I told him that wasn't what all the fuss was about.

      Delete
  11. Haha I love this, I've seen many confusing camisetas myself in Spain. I once saw a PJ top that said 'The bears is are sleeping' I had to laugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hayley:
      I wonder if that was supposed to be the bearses (you know, plural of bears...) I could snap pictures of T-shirts all day here. Very entertaining.

      Delete

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