Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hip To Be Square

Today I did some driving through chic Seattle neighborhoods, and within just a few blocks, I noticed several interesting street murals. Now that I'm home, I can think of about six more pieces that I could have photographed along my same route, but I didn't. Alas.

But still, from the trendy neighborhoods of Wallingford, Fremont and Queen Anne, here are three of my favorite examples of urban street art:

This giant octopus and weird cockeyed girl have a third companion, a humongous goldfish. They all live together on Nickerson Avenue in lower Queen Anne, and I often stare at them as I wait for the Fremont Bridge to do its drawbridge thing. Artistically, they are raw, kooky and colorful creatures and I admire their spunk.

Over on 45th, where Wallingford meets the U District, alongside of Dick's Drive-In, is a record shop that changes up the side of their building with a variety of music-related murals. This rendition of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover is pretty cool, though I'm also intrigued by the raw graffiti going on in the alley behind the record store. 

This building at Stone Way and 35th Avenue is a dear old friend of mine whom I featured in his own blog post last year. But new owners scooped him up this spring and have changed him dramatically. Granted, the building now houses a great ski and snowboard shop called Evo, which is where I recently bought a fantastic pair of new ski boots. And I'll admit that the new Native American art on the side of the building is kinda cool. But arg!! I miss those old colored squares soooo much.

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In fact, I'll be honest. As a form of art, street murals are cool and all. I especially appreciate the effort to bring colorful, organic designs into the often heartless and grey corners of the city. But the truth is that more than fanciful murals, I love clean, neat architectural design. 

Here are two examples, both on Stone Way south of 45th, that show exactly what I mean:

Seattle's trendy neighborhoods may be full of awesome murals, but in my opinion, it's much more hip to be square.

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