Charm City Streets has spent the last five weeks enjoying an extended visit with grandchildren in Seattle. There was a lull in family outings this past weekend, so Charm City Streets took the opportunity to strike out alone in search of street art.
The search began near Pike Place Market in Gum Alley, a local attraction. Used chewing gum, several inches thick in places, covers long sections of the alley walls. Ew, pretty gross! However, the alley exhibited a number of intriguing wheatpastes, including one by the UK artist D7606 and a dedication to music legend Prince. In the Capitol Hill neighborhood there was a smattering of graffiti pieces and throw-ups. There were several sanctioned murals in the Industrial District, south of the Mariner and Seahawks stadiums.
Seattle has a graffiti nuisance ordnance which can impose substantial fines on both the graff writer and the property owner. The city vigorously enforces this ordnance, which may explain why Charm City Streets encountered way less street art than expected.
Coincidently, there was more graffiti to see in the Greenwood neighborhood, northwest of the city. In March, a natural gas leak sparked an explosion that flattened a number of buildings in Greenwood. Nine firefighters were injured; fortunately, none seriously. A few days after the blast leveled much of the business district, street artists initiated a project to boost community morale and brighten the bombed-out look of the neighborhood. Much of the artwork was sold to raise funds for a disaster relief fund. Charm City Streets encountered these remaining pieces.
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