In each stop along this Manly Moments road trip, I’m checking out unique and unusual things to do in each city as well. Because sometimes, all that manly stuff can just plain tucker a guy out.
Here are some of the quirky finds in Seattle.
Located in an alleyway in the city’s famed Pike Place Market, Gum Wall is the little oddity that could. Workers at Unexpected Productions Theatresports tried to remove the unlikely offerings on a couple of occasions after patrons inexplicably started placing their gum there, but they eventually gave up and the wall is now a growing (some would say festering) tourist attraction in the area. Look closely and you can spot business cards, works for art, and even a wedding proposal fashioned out of the ooey, gooey stuff.
Kitsch connoisseurs can delight in the Official Bad Art Museum of Art (aka The OBAMA) and its tribute to all things wrong about art. With more of a coffee shop/lounge vibe, the museum is a great place to chill over a beer and muse about the plight of the tortured/starving artist. And judging by the works on display here, there are plenty of those.
Although pinball may have relinquished the arcade crown to video sometime during the Reagan administration, it still draws its share of die-hards who romanticize the flipper-propelled era. Enter the Seattle Pinball Museum — home to more than 50 pinball classics from the 1960s onwards. Each machine has a card detailing its history, design elements and “fun rating” as determined by the IPDB — the International Pinball Machine Database. It’s $15 for adults, and all machines are on freeplay.
Although details of its dimensions are sketchy, and it’s never actually been awarded to anyone for anything, the World’s Largest Trophy Cup at 817 Republican Street is worth a quick drive-by just to say you’ve seen it. Created by the owner of trophy and engraving company Athletic Awards, the wood- and-sheet-metal creation sits atop the business reminding passers-by why many awards just don’t matter that much.
An unexpected treat, Can’t Look Away — The Lure of Horror Film at Seattle’s famed EMP Museum, takes a in-depth look into the culture of fear in movies. There are exhibits on what makes a good horror flick, plus a scream booth (yell all you want, no one can hear you), and a shadow-monsters installation (it’s cooler than it sounds). The exhibit also includes some pretty nifty film props, including the axe from The Shining and the alien-creature outfit from Alien.