Saturday, July 13, 2013

WAWeekend: Seattle’s Summer Sizzlers

“Oh yes, we ‘know’ Seattle.  We went to its market. . .Pike Place Market!”

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.

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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.

Seattle 019Let’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:








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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:

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Note:  this area is congested with crowds waiting to see the antics of the sales staff – I had to muscle my way through the throngs to get to the stairway nearby (and kept my purse clutched tightly to my chest. . .just in case there were some among them more interested in my belongings than the fish show).

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’:

PicMonkey Collage

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:

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From the garden I had one of the best views ever of Seattle’s Giant Wheel that opened in Summer 2012 at Pier 57:

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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):

PicMonkey Collage

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.

14 comments:

  1. Lovely photos! Would love to visit Seattle and go to Pike Place Market one day... seems so lively and scenic (though may have to skip the Gum Wall ;)

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    1. Hi Catherine, I think you would love spending a day at the Market and if you go mid-week when the crowds aren't so big you even can chat with the vendors . . .and of course enjoy the views out over the bay.

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  2. I've visited Pike's Place market many times but I'm with you in hoping gifts and souvenirs don't replace the fruit & vegetable stands. I've seen that happen in other places and it turns me off.

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    1. I guess it is important to remember to buy those fruits and veggies and flowers when visiting there to give the producers a reason to continue showing the 'fruits' of their efforts!

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  3. Surprisingly I've never been to the Pike Place Market. I've got cousins that live in Portland so they are close, but we've just never made it there. It seems like you could easily spend the day there taking photos though!

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    1. You should do a day trip and ride Amtrak between the two cities; although Portland has a great market as well. Thanks for stopping by, Shawna

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  4. I spent a couple of hours in the market, a few years ago. I didn't see the "chewing gum wall", ugh is my only comment. Loved the fish mongers and all the beautiful flowers. The new garden looks lovely.

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    1. I spent a few minutes at that wall and for the life of me couldn't understand why it is so popular with tourists. There was an article recently saying they'd had to remove some of the gum because the wall was expanding too far. Yuck!

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  5. Looks like there are so many fun things to do in Seattle. I hope to get there soon.

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    1. Irene, if you head this way - let me know. I'll show you some insider "Seattle".

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  6. Hi Jackie! As I've mentioned several times I have an immense love for the city of Seattle! There are soooo many wonderful things to see there outside of the mainstream tourist attractions, I agree. It's been several years since my last visit and the wheel is new to me as is the garden. Lake Union was one of our favorite walks when we went! Then we took a sea plane flight from there to Victoria. Good post! :)

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    1. Thanks Mike for writing. You are probably like me and wonder if what you are writing is of value to anyone, so it is nice to know I've introduced you to some new things to see when you return to Seattle.

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  7. There's so much here, Jackie, I could lose myself, especially in the fish show. I didn't know that Seattle had a Wheel as well, with such a great view. I hope the food and flower vendors return.
    Welcome back, Jackie. Can't wait to hear more about your adventures.
    Thanks for linking up this week!

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    1. Thanks for hosting this Marcia. It really makes me look at our travels from a 'foodie' perspective (of course, from the way I eat my way through places, it doesn't take much of a nudge for me to look at things from 'a foodie perspective'!

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