I cannot explain the pull I have always had for Rapid City. Something about the Black Hills is equally calming and disconcerting to me. When my life was in turmoil, this is where I fled for peace. Unfortunately, peace cannot be afforded just by a place and I left after one year to be closer to home and get myself healthy. Even with my memories of that year being clouded by my struggles with PTSD, I still miss being there!
People can talk all about loving their downtown, and while Sioux Falls has a decent DT scene, I still wish it was half as good as the one in Rapid City! There were so many fun places, nooks, sights and one of my favorites was taking a trip down Art Alley.
Just off of St. Joseph street and around the corner on 6th, you will find Art Alley. Just like the historic Alex Johnson Hotel (Which is supposedly haunted and I really really want to stay there someday!), Art Alley has had a presence in Rapid City for far longer than it has been popular to have commissioned graffiti as part of city attractions. That said, Rapid has made a strong effort to use paid artists to keep the alley from succumbing to anything profane, but much of it is still done by local artists.
This Stephen King quote, while not visually artistic, won my heart.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend walking down that alley late at night, but it is certainly safe to do during daylight, and the alley has plenty of passersby checking out the colorful walls. Some of my favorites were the insanely detailed portraits, taking up two full stories.
There was also a lot of wonderful Native inspired art!