Monday, July 27, 2009

Thick-O-Licious

Thick-O-Licious

Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

I noticed last month that some of my posts from previous years were all of a sudden receiving many visits each day. Folks were landing on them after a web search for the term "gum wall." Turns out that Trip Advisor published a list in June of the top five germy places on the planet to visit. Seattle's little sticky spot is now globally famous as second only to the Blarney Stone in the "ew!" factor of tourist attractions. I started photographing the Market Theater gum wall in Post Alley in 2006 and have shared several views of it here and on More Seattle Stuff and my Flickr page over the years. I've given updates like this one before, but since interest is so keen right now, I thought it was a good time to give you an update and popped down Post Alley Sunday. I wasn't prepared for the amazing increase in the number of people wandering down the alley looking for it and the pretty noticeable thickening of the layers since my last visit in May. In the 20 minutes I was in the area I counted over 60 people go by and a number of disgruntled drivers who had to wait for them to pass like so many sheep on a country road. It used to be mainly patrons of the Alibi Room and Market Theater, workers from Pike Place Public Market, people who lived nearby, interested photographers, and the occasional tourist telling their kids not to touch it. I'm thinking the increased notoriety is not the best thing that could have happened. We'll see. . . This guy was making a video. Perhaps San Luis Obispo's "Bubble Gum Alley" should have made the list instead, since it's much larger and has been notorious since the 1960's, long before the little trend started here. A few more current views of this ever changing de facto interactive public art work are in a clickable mosaic at More Seattle Stuff.

14 comments:

Jilly said...

Lordy, now I've seen it all. This is totally gross. I looked back at your earlier photo and do see there are interesting shapes and colours in the closeup, but I find it hard to get beyond the chewing gum, which is something, personally, I loathe as people will drop it on the street. Perhaps the idea is this wall will stop that in which case, good idea. I'll still shocked, Kim! Must be getting old...

Shell Sherree said...

In that case, Jilly, I must be getting old too! I actually think I fainted for a few minutes - otherwise, I can't explain the kcoL spaC dent in my cheek. You're lucky you didn't catch anything taking the photo, Kim ... the things you do for us!

brattcat said...

Gross, yes, but also amazing. A geneticist's treasure trove. And an excellent photograph.

Small City Scenes said...

Ewwww is right. How did this start? I have never heard of it. Well that means nothing as I have never heard of a whole lot of stuff.

What happened to the previous post? No pic. MB

Babooshka said...

It fascinated me then and it still does. To me as much as the Needle and Frasier it just says Seattle. Germs and all, it's truly unique.

Claire said...

Hi, Kim! It's Claire of Claire and Greg (artist) that you met at the Graffiti Wall near the gum wall. Even though we are in Post Alley each week, I avoid even looking at the gum wall! Would love to see some of the photos you took of Greg. Are you able to e-mail me from this comment?

Ineke said...

good god. i wouldnt even dare standing so near as this guy

Bibi said...

Hi, Kim. Got to remember to link to you when I post my photo of Bubble Gum Alley, taken on a recent trip to San Luis Obispo. For the moment, if you check my blog, I'm still in Pennsylvania, virtually, at least!

meheh said...

HAHA!! That's me! Thanks for posting this! My friends emailed me saying, "Hey, did you know there's a picture of you in front of the gum wall?" I was testing out some shots to see if I'd want to make a little video of it. I'm going to make an account on flickr to put my videos up thanks to your suggestion. In case you're bored, here's a link to my video journal of places and experiences I've had. vimeo.com/matthewbrown/videos Thanks again for sharing this, and maybe I'll see you out shooting again sometime! Take care! -Matt

meheh said...

Sorry to comment again, but I was wondering if I could post this to my facebook page. I'll credit you and everything. It would just be great to have it in my album. :)

Texas Travelers said...

We will have to check this out the next time we are in town.

Troy and Martha

Kim said...

Many thanks to one and all. I have to say that every mother that wandered down the alley with children in tow gasped, exclaimed aloud "OMG! How gross! EWWWW!," tried to control their revulsion, and warned their kids not to go anywhere near it! Well, of course the kids immediately went to inspect it closely and wanted to add to it, some even daringly touched it! One woman remarked she was surprised no one was there in the ally selling chewing gum.

Hey Matt, that's cool, and thanks for including the copyright byline. It was nice to meet you. I will check out your site, and hope to see you out in the streets again.
-Kim

Anonymous said...

I LOVE these pictures! Yes it is discusting but at the same time it is a work of art, and your pictures captures that very well. I have never seen this wall in person, but now I am inspired to pay it a visit!

Ribbon said...

Fascinating!

best wishes
Ribbon