|4/15/13 Platinum Carbon Black ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook|
Growing up south of downtown Seattle, I rarely ventured as far north as North 88th and Aurora Avenue North (OK, so I led a sheltered childhood). On those occasions when I did, Aurora seemed full of exotic sights, not the least of which was this elephant. As a child, I thought the elephant – part of an eye-catching sign for Aurora Flower Shop – looked fairly realistic.
Fast-forward a few decades, and the elephant doesn’t look quite as realistic to me now. But dating back to 1936 (on Aurora since 1946), it has a colorful past (which you can read about on RoadsideAmerica.com), including the urban legend that it was an actual taxidermied elephant killed on safari. The flower shop closed in 2004, and currently the retail location belongs to Aurora Rents.
When I saw that the Urban Sketchers Flickr group’s theme this week is “Oddities in Your Town,” I came up with a number of candidates (many of which are listed on that same Roadside America site), and this is the first I’ve sketched. You’ll see more as the weather improves during the next few months.