It was a few years after I came to Seattle that I first became aware of the gum wall! Probably because I was busy moving, getting the kids' school and my work life organized, and trying to beat out my GPS for the fastest routes around town, getting to know the museums, the quirky outlets and prized neighborhoods, the amazing food at personality-filled restaurants. But at last I came to understand there is a wall in Lower Post Alley at the Market that is both a bit beyond belief and a definite must-see for myself as much as guests to the city. Maybe we'd better all go over and over again, as this is a work in progress and we can participate too.
Weird, gooey, and oh so aesthetically pleasing, the historical “gum wall” of the Pike Place Market stretches across the old bricks of the south end of lower Post Alley. Look closer at the neat designs people have created with various colors of chewed gum hardened and permanently stuck to the sides of the wall. Rumor has it that it all started in 1993 when theater goers standing outside Seattle's Unexpected Productions started sticking gum to the wall then coins to the gum.The gummy graffiti was scraped off twice before the theater workers gave up and left it, to become the spectacle and participatory art it is today (by which I mean you might as well stick your gum on there too, just go ahead).
Down here, just steps away, you will also find the Alibi Room and Il Bistro, two of the great restaurants Pike’s Place Market has to offer. The Alibi Room is a dark hole in the wall that serves great drinks and perfect brick oven fired pizzas. They have a great happy hour with delicious food all for five bucks. Il Bistro is an authentic Italian restaurant that is also open late serving superb cocktails. Follow the narrow staircase from Post Alley up to the main entrance of the Market where Rachel the Pig waits to greet you before you get to the famous Pike’s Fish market where flying fish are tossed around by the fish guys. Or follow the alley down the hill to another little staircase across Western Ave. where you will soon be crossing Alaskan Way to Seattle's waterfront to access The Seattle Aquarium, The Ferry terminal, Argosy Cruise Dock, Olympic Sculpture Park, and other well known attractions.
Meet Edy Kizaki.
Edy's May in Seattle 2012 blog.