Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nice Things in Belltown

Just how unobservant am I? Well, I've been walking past the Dahlia Lounge at 4th & Virginia for many years and only this week did I notice this mosaic:

There it is, right outside the front door. I didn't even notice. But this isn't about me. It's about the niceness of the mosaic. Sure, it's a basic design, but I like it quite a bit. It really classes up the place - which was already pretty classy to begin with. I mean, it's a Tom Douglas restaurant (one of four in a two block radius), so it's automatically yummy. That's a given. But the thing that makes me even more partial to the mosaic and its adjoining restaurant is that the work is right there in public. It's not walled-off or glassed-off or behind bars. It defies all dumbass taggers with its very presence. I had a very close look at it when I took these pictures and guess how many times it's been tagged. Zero! Like I always say, more nice things in Belltown on full public display will make it a far better place. Yeah, we like our nice stuff so much that we just leave it out for everybody to look at! That's the kind of people we are!

And while we're on the subject, 2nd & Blanchard's finest and only rock club, the Crocodile, has replaced its cheap, glass front doors with some solid wooden gates, but best of all, they have those spectacularly cool crocodile-shaped door pullers. Look:

Every time I walk past these, I just marvel at them. I say hooray for the Crocodile. Even though those wooden doors look pretty out of place (maybe it's just because they're new), at least they've got those super-excellent brass crocodiles on them. So the big question is this: Is Belltown slowly getting nicer or is this increasing niceness being compensated by things being worse somewhere else - say, like, on 3rd Avenue? I'm really not sure.

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