Nini's Nails is still doing nails, but Lucho A. Singh's State Farm Insurance office next door has been transformed into a black-box space bearing sheer white curtains and a globe in an open suitcase. It looks like an abandoned magic set in there.
One block north on Broadway, past East Denny Way, Everyday Music is still buying and selling records, but the women's clothing shop Makeovers is home only to a large pinkish-white parachute suspended from the ceiling over a nest of metal holding a coil of blue lights.
Where commerce has abandoned Broadway, art has arrived!
Well, not quite. The shabby temporary projects are more like prototypes to announce that these properties are open to artists' interventions. But there is a lot of art to come. Sound Transit is now taking proposals from artists who want to create temporary installations in buildings that will eventually be demolished to make way for the Capitol Hill Sound Transit station.
The spaces have the advantage of being ghostly already. The retail signs are still there, but what they promise is gone. My favorite of the early interventions, by Seattle artist Carl Smool, is a roomful of eerily swaying giant sheer white skirts set against the checkered floor at what was once Welcome Nails. It makes me think of weddings gone wrong.
The first floor of Eileen Court, the apartment building on East John Street near Denny, is now ringed by large, green-tinted photographs of waves that cover up the boarded windows. Eventually, Jack in the Box will receive the same treatment from the comics group Friends of the Nib, including Ellen Forney. This is all the very good idea of Barbara Luecke, public art administrator at Sound Transit. Interested artists should contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.