Time and again we meet people on our travels who place our world by recalling a visit they’ve made to Seattle’s iconic public market. There was a time we used to regularly beat a path to the market when we found ourselves in the Emerald City.
We live so close to Seattle now that like other of its destinations, we go there when the occasional out-of-town visitor comes along.
That is until this week when one of Seattle’s glorious sunny days and a freelance article I am working on, lured me back to this century-old market with post-card perfect views overlooking Elliott Bay.
I decided to stop at a few of my old favorites and seek out at least a couple new spots to tell you about this weekend.
Let’s start under the Market Clock (erected during the Great Depression) at ‘Rachel’, the piggy-bank (donations go to the Market Foundation)brings out the photographer in all visitors:
Rachel is right in front of the boys who throw the fish when making sales, so you have to watch that show again, even though you know what’s coming and now matter how often you've seen it before:
The Gum Wall: Egad, how I had never visited this place, on Lower Post Alley (almost under the fish company) before? Now that I have, I probably don’t need to return. This, is as its name implies is a wall of gum, chewed gum to be exact, that seemed to draw as many photographers as those shooting out over the bay. Not to miss ‘a photo opp’:
The Urban Garden: This was also an area new to me but it’s also new to the Market. And a pleasant contrast to the Gum Wall almost below it. This raised bed garden – the first seeds planted in April this year -- will provide fresh produce to low-income residents who live in and around the Market and who visit the Pike Market Food Bank and Senior Center:
From the garden I had one of the best views ever of Seattle’s Giant Wheel that opened in Summer 2012 at Pier 57:
If you are like me, the real draw of Pike Place Market continues to be the longtime food and flower vendors (Sadly, it seemed a number of the produce and flower stands that once lined the main corridor have been replaced by souvenir and gift stands – hopefully it is because the harvest season isn’t yet in full swing):
That’s it for this weekend’s WAWeekend, when we visit close to home in Washington State. If you are heading to Seattle, put this Market on your must-see list. It is open year-round.
If You Go:
For the latest information on Market operating hours, how to sign up for guided tours, and the latest happenings, visit the Market website: http://pikeplacemarket.org/
Note: In the summer ,the market by mid-day is usually crowded. It is a popular stop for cruise ship passengers – three ships were in port on the Friday I visited, not to mention the land-based tourists. Plan your visit accordingly.