Hi. I’m Susan, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.
I’ve worked as an artist for 25 years (susanrobb.com). I was the Artist in Residence for the Seattle Office of Arts and created the Public Arts Master Plan for Downtown Seattle in 2016. My work is an ongoing investigation of people and our emotional connection to place. This takes form as sculpture, video, photography, and the orchestration of temporary, site-responsive projects. My tours began in 2010 with a project I devised called The Long Walk, a commission from King County Parks and 4Culture, in which I led groups of 50 people on 45-mile journeys through the cities, suburbs, farmlands, and forests of King County using the Regional Trails System. Since then, sharing walks with others has become an integral part of my practice.
For questions about this experience, please contact the host directly through Airbnb.
Join me for an in-depth walking tour of how the history of sex work influenced modern-day Seattle. During this tour, participants will explore some of the places and spaces that once made up Seattle’s licentious landscape. Starting in Pioneer Square and weaving through downtown, we’ll visit former brothels, bathhouses, and gay burlesque halls. I will cover the influence of racism, the gold rush, women’s suffrage, and graft. I’ll also talk about a parade of powerful women and connect Seattle’s current issues around sex work to those that began over 150 years ago. The convergence of business, politics, and sex work may, at first blush, seem sensationalistic, but this union is inextricably part of Seattle’s history, from the European colonization of the Coast Salish people’s land into present day. Fueled over the years by gold, graft, tolerance, and tech bros, Seattle’s story is only truly understood with its pants off.
A Very Wicked City is a politically-minded tour that uses a feminist and social justice lens to consider issues around sex work.
On our street-level tour we will visit spaces and places in Pioneer Square and 1st Avenue that once made up Seattle libidinal landscape. Nearly of these places have been redeveloped but we will uncover the history lurking just below their surface.
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During the tour participants can use booklets with historical images that I provide to trace out path. The books can also be sent as a PDF after the tour, if requested.
Tour is approxomately 3 miles. Please come prepared with weather appropriate clothing, water bottle, and comfortable shoes. This walk will take place rain or shine.
Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.
There are 10 spots available on this experience.
Guests ages 21 and up can attend.