Seattle is full of charms, some of them tiny

Last year we took a big trip to London and Dublin, so this year I’d thought we would probably stay home. But my husband’s sister, Victoria, and her husband, Chris, recently moved into a new house in Seattle, which seemed like a perfect excuse for an inexpensive vacation.

Staying in this beautiful, open, sunny house with a view of Seward Lake and Mt. Rainier in the distance would be holiday enough, but we’ve also discovered some of Seattle’s hidden gems. Today’s gem: miniature street art.

The background image depicts a work crew shoveling snow after Seattle’s big storm in February 1916.

A few days ago Victoria had stopped to tie her shoe at an intersection in their neighborhood. Raising her head to resume her walk, she saw something she hadn’t before and took time to inspect it. Atop a small handle was a tiny streetcar covered in fake snow that could be moved along a proscribed arc. Behind it was an old photograph attached to a pole just a few feet off the ground.  She looked on each of the other three corners and found similar scenes and movable vehicles. She had no idea how long they had been there or why but wanted to show them to us.

So, of course, I Googled it as soon as we got home.

Artist Talia Silveri Wright, known as little talia, is a self-proclaimed miniaturist and street artist who lives in Seattle. Her Art Interruptions were commissioned by the Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation. The photographic images attached to the poles are courtesy of Rainier Valley Historic Society. Miniature Mobility, in the artist’s words, “honors the history of Seattle transit (especially in Rainier Valley)–from street cars to light rail–with a transportation-themed scavenger hunt.” How fun is that!

York Grocery Co. float in the parade celebrating the end of the streetcar

One corner’s artwork is titled “1891, The Early Street Car.” Another corner features the Street Car Barns & Work Car, from which you can see a tiny man, Louis “Pa Hip,” leaning out of the car that he built. The third corner depicts the parade that followed the demise of the streetcar, and the fourth memorializes the huge snowstorm 100 years ago. You can see them at the intersection of Seward Park Avenue South and South Morgan Street in Seattle.

Apparently there are four more in this series. So I already know what I want to do tomorrow!


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