Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, Seattle, Washington, 2015
My head is routinely turned by overstuffed second-hand stores when I’m material shopping. I appreciate that not everyone wants their material bearing the kind of message that recycled objects convey, but if you’re after rare threads, specialist tools, or recycled metals, combing through castoffs at the thrift store or outdoor market is often the best bet. Enter Seattle’s Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. In the midst of a biker community, Georgetown boasts rail yards to the north and a freeway that hugs the eastern border so closely that in part it looms overhead, and it’s cut off from the river on the western side by yet another freeway sliding south. Then there’s the airport, dead south, whose air traffic patterns routinely interrupt conversation in the streets. Across the road from an old brewery building or two, the car park of Star Brass Works Lounge—what we back home would call a pub—seems a logical place for a random assortment of goods—those for sale and the trailers housing the wares. The “mall” itself is hemmed into a right angle between semi-industrial buildings: these edge a triangular vortex into which fragments seem to naturally pool. It’s just as well this mall sits happily in its concrete and tarmac location as, should it choose to move on, I strongly suspect the stuff would continue to collect.