Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Charleston Gum Poles

Downtown Charleston, South Caroline is a beautiful little town. A quietly bustling market runs down the center of town while antebellum mansions and deep southern flats line the streets. Cafes, restaurants, tattoo parlors, shops, vendors selling day-trips to Ft. Sumpter, and the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant are just a few of the Charleston delights. But perhaps strangest attraction to be found are the Gum Poles.

Yes! Poles of gum. Three telephone poles near the center of downtown Charleston (close to the market entrance and hub of Charleston life) have been transformed into sticky, colorful works of gummy art. Locals and tourists alike quietly saunter past and plaster the poles with their chewing gum...creating rainbowed pillars of stickiness. Some consider it a nuisance and "destruction of public property." Some find the budding tradition rather exciting. Some call it modern art.

When I was in Charleston this past June, I personally got to see these semi-famous Gum Poles...and well, my gum is on one of those poles too. See that pink piece of gum right there? Maybe that's mine.

Well, heh, I stumbled upon this article from the local Charleston news station tonight and discovered that not only has this "gum-sticking" been banned, but the city plans to install surveillance cameras and place hefty fines (and possible jail sentences) on any poor person who happens to participate in this sticky "art."


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