The Fussy Eye: Which Way to WTF?

Hipsters on trikes? We wish.

Some exhibits hang around for months; other art events are one-night-only and evanescent. But none are more perishable than the accidental visual attractions littering Seattle. You might have time to photograph them, or blog them, but they've vanished the next day. So it is with this trike-bedecked orange traffic cone recently encountered in Lower Queen Anne, which raises more questions than it answers. Did it indicate the route of a tricycle parade? A tricycle-restricted parking area? A clown convention? Or have fixie riders abandoned their polo matches in favor of something even more outlaw, even more alley-cat? I'd like to think the directional aid pointed the way to an illegal, after-hours race circuit in the parking lot of the nearby KFC/Taco Bell (home of "The Volcano Taco"; eat it if you dare, washed down with a PBR). Yet there's something reassuring about the ubiquitous orange traffic cone, one of those perfect little urban designs that seems to have no recognized creator. (Though some attribute its pre-WWI origins to one Charles P. Rudabaker; see the Traffic Cone Preservation Society's website for more conical lore.) Traffic cones are trustworthy, safe little beacons conferred with authority; just set them out in the road, and people will drive around them. Or pedal toward them, very slowly and very close to the ground.

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