Until recently, customers passing through the sky-blue doors at Joey and Jane Grocery, on the corner of View and 25th streets, couldn’t help but notice the graffiti covering the storefront.

But thanks to a 25th street residential association and tour neighborhood teenagers — Horace Parsons, Michael Floyd, Mark Tyler and Oswald McGee, — the wall art no longer rules at Joey and Jane Grocery. On November 4, the teens, armed with paintbrushes, restored the market’s walls to their original color.

“We did it because we don’t like graffiti on the walls. It’s ugly,” said Horace Parsons. “People who do it don’t care about other people’s property.”

The project was organized by Richard Sims, the president of the 25th Street Neighborhood Association.

Sims had observed a substantial increase in graffiti on both homes and storefronts over the last few years. So in October Sims went to Lincoln Community Center (home of the 25th Neighborhood Association’s youth program), and enlisted the aid of the teenagers.

A professional house painter, Sims supplied the paintbrushes, while the neighborhood association raised the money for paint.

“The time commitment [in this case, approximately two days] and the work involved in removing graffiti makes kids think about respecting people’s property.” he noted.

But Joey and Jane Grocery was Just the beginning. Sims and his crew are already planning to tackle the graffiti-splattered house at 122 25th Street, “as soon as we have another weekend with clear skies.” says Sims.

After that, any defaced home or business within the boundaries of Jackson and Anna and 15th and 24th streets are a potential target for clean-up. (Give him a call if you want to report about new place to paint).

“The graffiti project is an opportunity for people to see that teenagers can make good things”.