Gum Control

First stop on any tour guide’s list is Pike Place Market, a location that cannot be missed on any in-depth and personal tour of the Emerald City. The smell of fish in the air, fresh slices of food being passed around and the hand made crafts, are unmistakable.

Pikes is a perfect entry into Seattle culture, but one of the best-hidden gems in the market is the disgustingly famous Gum Wall; an alley way that isn’t marked by signs and is mainly found by accidentally stumbling on to it. The infamous Gum Wall has been accumulating its stickiness over the past 20 years, but on Nov. 10, those 20 years of market history will be washed away in hope of restoring the Market’s character—which is counterintuitive when the wall is part of Pike’s Place Market unique and special charm.

There are over a million pieces of gum on that wall left by tourists and locals: artists have used their gum to make works of art, names and cities have been pasted down, someone has even used the wall for a marriage proposal. Washing away the wall will wash away all of these memories—memories that are special to people and that make us smile when we see them. Yes, at first glance the alley way is disgusting and many people are hesitant to touch it but even though it is being cleared off it doesn’t mean it can’t come back. So in a few weeks run down to the market and stick a few pieces of gum to the wall. The old wall will forever be loved and missed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make new one that’s just as awesome.

–Nicole Schlaeppi, Photo Editor