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:
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.
^ 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.
^ 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: that just makes me laugh
streicher.diane: but anyway i turn around, and this gangsta ish man is walking over to me
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: what is in the bag?
streicher.diane: and i realize right away that its a bag of spray paint can
Nur Bahiyah: pictures?
Nur Bahiyah: ohh ok ok
streicher.diane: and he says....im gonna teach you how to paint
Nur Bahiyah: thats cool
streicher.diane: it was AWESOME
Nur Bahiyah: so you learn how to paint it eh?
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.