Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 13, 2009

Bubblegum Alley

Bubblegum Alley is an institution in Central California.  It is located in downtown San Luis Obispo, which is a university town (Cal Sate San Luis Obispo), and that’s all you really need to know as to why two long walls are devoted to decorative but grody old pieces of bubblegum.


Apparently, people began squishing plugs of gum on the alleyway walls some time around 1960.  And let me tell you, it looks it.  Some of those pieces of gum are so old now that they are black, retaining everything that has passed or been touched by their sticky surfaces for the last 49 years.

Occasionally, bits of ephemera are embedded in the walls, along with the chewed gum. These are primarily pennies and beer bottlecaps.  The more creative of the visitors who leave a piece of themselves behind will sometimes spell out entire words and phrases.  I can’t imagine what a one-foot high “Happy Birthday Luv” cost in Bazooka or Double Bubble.bubble-gum-wall1

If you are the kind of easily-amused person who likes to visit lifesized fiberglass dinosaurs in the desert (Palm Springs), or cadillacs buried halfway into the earth (Amarillo) — and I am — then Bubblegum Alley is for you.  My only recommendation would be to go in winter, when the pavement isn’t quite so hot.



  1. 1st reaction: “Ewwww.”

    2nd reaction: “Hah! David is quite humorous!”

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