Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Great Seattle Graffiti Wall

During the photo-posting extravaganza that was my fourth-born's golden birthday celebration, I came across this shot of my then-fifteen-year-old, impersonating a T in front of an amazing wall of graffiti.

Memories quickly came rolling in as I recalled the day that I went by myself in pursuit of this legendary place.

Yes, my daughters accompanied me on my second trip to the wall, but the first trip was a solo run. When they heard that I was going alone to explore the back side of a warehouse in a gritty city neighborhood, they all questioned my sanity. But when they saw the photos and heard the amazing story that I brought home, the only question on their minds was whether we could go back the next day.

Those photos of mine popped right up on on my Facebook page, where I shared them as part of an ongoing digital tour of Seattle, undertaken to give my Malaysian friends a first-had look at my city. Here are my favorite excerpts from that album, along with the original captions from July 20, 2009:

^ so one day nasir and i were talking about street art and graffiti, and it got me to thinking about this place i'd heard of, called the great seattle graffiti wall.

the story goes that down in the industrial part of seattle, the owners of a warehouse decided to allow graffiti on their building...and that it was a pretty amazing thing to see.

so today i decided to go see for myself. i found the front of the warehouse, painted ugly grey...but as i walked toward the back, i saw this wrting on the building and knew i was in the right place. 

smile emoticon

this is the full view of the back of the warehouse. the art literally covers every bit of the building that you can see from this shot. it was such a blast of energy and color...i couldn't believe my eyes.

i took some shots of the building, just to help you get oriented. then i went crazy on close-ups.

from this shot, you can get an idea of how there are just layers and layers of designs.

^ "Paint runnin in my veins - like a vet staring at trains.

And then, this happened:

^ ok this pic has a very special story that goes with it. i already told it to nur bahiyah so she will help me tell it to you:

streicher.diane: so i was at this graffiti wall today, right?
streicher.diane: i was alone behind this warehouse
streicher.diane: near railroad tracks
streicher.diane: no one around
Nur Bahiyah: yeah
streicher.diane: but a man sitting in like a big SUV
streicher.diane: it was kinda freaky but i just walked along and took all my pics
streicher.diane: and i hear a voice saying...hey, lady
streicher.diane: which, first of all, let me say... LOLZ
streicher.diane: 'lad'?
streicher.diane: 'lady'*?
streicher.diane: that just makes me laugh
streicher.diane: but anyway i turn around, and this gangsta ish man is walking over to me
streicher.diane: crap
Nur Bahiyah: oh god
Nur Bahiyah: then
streicher.diane: i say, yes?
streicher.diane: and he says, why are you taking pictures
streicher.diane: and i said cuz i think its really cool
streicher.diane: he is standing by me now
streicher.diane: and he says, wait here
streicher.diane: and he starts walking back to his truck
streicher.diane: im like...oh shoot, hes gonna get me
streicher.diane: but he takes a bag out of the back
Nur Bahiyah:
Nur Bahiyah: what is in the bag?
streicher.diane: and i realize right away that its a bag of spray paint can
Nur Bahiyah: pictures?
streicher.diane: cans*
Nur Bahiyah: ohh ok ok
streicher.diane: and he gonna teach you how to paint
streicher.diane: hehehehehehehe
Nur Bahiyah:
Nur Bahiyah: thats cool
streicher.diane: it was AWESOME
Nur Bahiyah: so you learn how to paint it eh?
streicher.diane: yes
streicher.diane: he was gonna write my name for me
streicher.diane: but he only got the D finished and he had to leave
streicher.diane: but he told me to buy some paint and come back
streicher.diane: he wants to see my name on that wall
Nur Bahiyah: have u take the D's picture?
streicher.diane: of course

* * * * *

So that is the story of how I learned to paint graffiti from a straight-up Escalade-driving g at the Great Seattle Graffiti Wall. And while I do not expect to ever top that experience in my whole entire life, I must say that the next day's visit, with two of my daughters and one splendid niece, was pretty darn special too.

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