Under a South End Bridge

Under a South End Bridge Matt Briggs

I took this photo yesterday and have been thinking about how even though the South End is as Charles Mudede described in an essay some years ago in The Stranger as “post-apocalyptic,” this does not mean it is ugly or even populated solely by Mad Max style marauders, but is in fact populated by people. But his essay still I think applies, even though it only one side of the story south of Seattle.

Through the years, the Sea-Tac International Airport has grown and has needed more space for its sophisticated operations. To accommodate this expansion, the Port of Seattle bought whole neighborhoods and emptied them of all human life, thus producing something of a moat around the airport’s high-tech bulk. In this dead area, nature returned not as real nature, but as post-apocalyptic nature. This was the kind of growth you would expect to find after a world war eliminated human productivity and wild nature re-thrived on what used to be manicured lawns, smoothly paved roads, solid and happy homes.

— “Negative Land,” by Charles Mudede (with photos by Alice Wheeler)

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