On a recent trip to Seattle I came across one of the more random attractions that I have ever seen. Also one of the most beautiful. And one of the germiest.
The Market Theater Gum Wall, a popular Seattle tourist attraction, is a fifty foot stretch of bricked wall in an alleyway that is completely covered in used chewing gum. It is located in Post Alley under the famous Pike Place Market, known for its fishmongers who throw fish when customers purchase them.
The globs of gum are several inches thick in many places and reach up to 15 feet high in places. There is a piece of gum that seems to represent each color of the rainbow on this wall. It is quite intricate and wonderful.
Apparently in the early 1990s, as people waited in line at the nearby theater box office, they started sticking gum to the wall. The theater company tried to clean it two different times, but eventually gave up. And the wall was named an official city attraction in 1999.
There are even surprises of art within the gum display – hearts, names, peace signs, you name it. One of the photos I took of the wall serves as the background on my phone screen. So I think about it almost every day. And I’m going to paint it.
I love this wall despite the fact that I am a complete germaphobe. I love that it has history. I love that it has germs. I love that it is manmade and that it doesn’t plug in or light up. And that people appreciate it for what it is.
I’m glad I got to see the Gum Wall and I know I will see it again. For all this I am grateful.