Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slow Down and Gaze Out

By Jiyeon Hong and Eliot Mueting

One of the things that makes the city of Seattle distinct is the fact that it is made up of so many different intimate neighborhoods. Even though it is the 15th largest population center in the U.S. These population centers in the U.S are usually characterized by, isolated relationships, Urban monotony, sprawl, and so on. The uniqueness here in Seattle can be derived from its perfect marriage of the individual and intimate neighborhoods with its urban downtown core and industrious suburban areas.
This phenomenon does not just happen out of thin air. The residents here take pride in their neighborhood communities. Seattle has its Neighborhood Matching Fund program which incentivize the neighborhood groups to invest in there own neighborhood. The city does this by offering to match every dollar that the neighbors put into their projects. This includes services as well, so if the neighborhood has a gardener living in it, and he or she decides to donate their skills as a gardener the city will match every hour they put in with the equivalent in hourly wages. According to the department’s statement, since 1988, there were more than 3800 voluntary projects within Seattle encouraging more community bonding.

Both murals where done by a group known as City Repair, “Bubbles the Turtle” and “The Ladybug”  are street murals and are representing the Wallingford neighborhood community. “Bubbles the Turtle” was designed and drawn at the intersection of Interlake Avenue North and North 41st Street by Rachel Marcotte. And “The Ladybug” is located at North 49th Street and Burke Avenue North and designed by Eric Higbee in 2004. To ensure the murals remain, there are annual painting parties were neighbors get together and touch up the murals. These murals bring neighbors together for bonding, and furthers the distinct neighborhoods idea that Seattle keeps so well.

These murals not only invigorate the neighborhood atmosphere but also refresh or entertain other people who are stressed out from their work or get bored from mundane urban life, and monotonous daily task. People who drive by this intersection often will slow down and just gaze.

View Wallingford Street Murals in a larger map

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