Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A few months ago there was a rash of arsons in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle, very near where I work. The worst of the fires consumed four businesses entirely and damaged the theater next door. I like the mural itself, but some of the press coverage of it was very poorly conceptualized.

"The symbolism is clear: Just as the bird refuses to succumb to the fire licking at its feathers, so do the people of Greenwood refuse to be torn down."
- Seattle Times

The immolation of the phoenix is essential. It must succumb to the fire in order to initiate its own regeneration. This is probably just sloppy writing, but this kind of garbling of symbolism annoys me.

"One of the most significant images was a phoenix rising from flames, perhaps a sign of the community rebuilding after the fire."
- Kiro TV


Side note: Many years ago I found the burned ash and wreckage of a Chinese restaurant that had burned to the ground, ironically named "The Phoenix."