Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seattle Attractions: The Ubiquitous Gum Wall!

Hidden down under the Pike Place Market in Seattle's Downtown area is an attraction that few visitors to this great city rarely get to see. I'm surprised to find it's in not one of the many guidebooks I've referenced for this post.

It's called the Gum Wall, well, that's what I call it, I'm not sure it has a name, it's on a forgotten part of Post Alley, you enter this section of post alley from the corner of 1st Avenue and Pike Street, near the news stand. Adventure down the cobblebrick road until you get the distinc feeling that you might be mugged and Violla! Gum Wall! It's proximity to so many other frequented tourist locations makes it even harder for me to understand why so few have made it's aquaintance.
We Start from across the alley, about eight feet away.




I believe the wall is a portion of the Pike Street Brewery, not sure if they commissioned its creation. As stated, the artist is unknown. Attempts to find a signature were met with a scolding from Mr. Sticky Fingers.

The Gum Wall appears in front of you as you exit one of Seattle's great nightclubs, the Alibi Room. On a given night, you could meet your future spouse, dance the night away to a local DJ, have a damned fine dessert (if I do say so myself), and stumble out of here, sick as the mind of M.C. Escher, and trip, face front, right into one biohazardous piece of gum right after another.
Getting Closer, can you smell the Retsin?




Don't think you have time for this little aberration? Only 72 hours in Seattle? I'll tell you what, skip the "Ride the Ducks", those things are dangerous! The Space needle? Who needs it? You want to really see Seattle, in all of it's artistic glory? The answer is simple. That's right, you guessed it, Gum Wall.

Is that a phone number up in the left hand corner? What a classy place for a singles ad!







Now that you've met your mate, had a bite of chocolate cake, cut a rug, guzzled a few mojitos and skipped the duck, move in a little closer.
Mesmerizing, isn't it?













Moving in to about two feet away, the artist's talents really start to shine through. It's actually beginning to resemble...wait, could it be? A Jackson Pollock!
(Actual Jackson Pollock for comparison)












At close range, the Gum Wall takes on it's own life, it could be a photo of grains of sand or decaying captain crunch.

In conclusion, the Gum Wall is just one of the many exciting and overlooked destinations that should be near the top of any visitor to Seattle's list. You can enjoy it here, in two dimensions, but to really get the flavor, you're going to have to step right up and take a bite.

4 comments:

nazeem said...

Cool Gum Wall :D

Avery Gray said...

I've lived in the Pacific Nortwest all my life, and never knew there was a Gum Wall in Pike's Place's seedy underbelly. Thanks for the heads up!

Brina said...

People should read this.

Anonymous said...

Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

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