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Bubblegum Alley weathers all takes

By Catholic Online
August 16th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

San Luis Obispo is a sleepy little California coastal town. The city can boast of a college, and many people from the Central Valley got to San Luis Obispo to cool off for the summer. One of the city's most famous landmarks is an alley which is coated in gum and gun wrappers, called "Bubblegum Valley."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called the towns "most-talked-about landmark," Bubblegum Alley is 65 feet long and 15-feet high. Begun in the 1950s, it is unclear exactly how or why it began. A favorite local explanation is a rivalry between the San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students.

Bubblegum Alley has been resilient through the decades. Fully cleaned twice in the 1970s, it has been restored to its tacky splendor each time. By the 1990s, the gum alley had been there for so long that a request to clean the alley was politely declined.

The gum alley has been featured on The Tonight Show, MTV, That's Incredible!, Real People, PBS and written about in newspapers from the San Francisco Chronicle to The Guardian in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Local businesses are less enthused. They say the alleyway should be cleaned up, or gated in the night when people leaving local pubs tend to leave both gum and bodily fluids behind.

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