Throwing Fish Images at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington has become a tourist attraction where fish mongers entertain visitors and shoppers by throwing fish to one another and engaging people in conversation by way of entertainment and a type of drama not seen in many other places.
In addition, there is so much more to be explored and enjoyed in this oldest continually operating farmer's market in the United States. One should not miss seeing it if visiting Seattle.
People living in Seattle know that the freshest of seafood as well as flowers, fruits, vegetables and other sundry items can be located and purchased at that locale.
My mother, niece and I began a 15 day vacation by flying to Seattle in July of 1989.
We settled into the downtown Sheraton Hotel and walked to the famous Pike Place Market which was only blocks away.
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
Cobble-stoned streets lead to the historic market and it was first begun around 1907.
As a reaction to middlemen taking much of the profits, the farmers and fishermen decided that they could collectively display and sell their own "catch of the day" as well as produce and get to keep more of the money for themselves.
In 1971 the market had become very old and rundown and the city fathers had decided that it should be demolished.
There was such a citizen outcry that the market was saved by the voters of Seattle who loved the history and idea of keeping it open for future generations. Besides...they liked to shop there!
Pike Place Market is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The area consists of 7+ acres of everything from hawkers tossing and selling fish to restaurants, craft shops, fruit and vegetable markets to musicians and other entertainers adding to the noise, smells, color and ambiance of this historic place.
There are 250 businesses that are permanent and up to 200 people who rent spaces to sell their crafts.
One can see mounds of iced down fresh crab legs, fish of every size and description, bratwurst and other "wurst's", a wide assortment of cheeses, brightly polished and colorful fruits as well as vegetables. The aromas of coffee beans and spices of every variety are mixed with the sweet smells coming from the flower stall vendors. Hundreds of food items tempt a visitor to Pike Place Market.
It is a vibrant mix of people, languages, sights, sounds and scents.
One could spend a good portion of a day there shopping, dining and sightseeing.
The backside of the market borders the waterfront of Elliott Bay and many restaurants offer a view along with their proffered food and drinks.
After looking over the selection of restaurants we chose to have lunch at The Athenian Inn which had been in business since 1909. Its address is 1517 Pike Place and the hours of operation were from early in the morning until 7:00pm in the evening. In addition to old fashioned recipes like clam hash, kippers and omelets, they served lobsters, steaks and more. For refreshments, they had an old fashioned soda fountain; numerous wines from the Northwest and a huge selection of beers ( 150 of them! ) from around the world with 16 of them on tap.
I enjoyed a wonderful order of fresh sea bass with a sweet and sour sauce which was delicious. My mother and niece enjoyed their selections as well.
Suggestion...If you desire to check out Pike Place Market for yourself, parking is very limited ... so plan to take a cab or have someone drop you off and arrange to pick you up at an agreed upon time.
Anyone visiting Seattle needs to check out Pike Place Market for the entertainment value of seeing the fish being thrown as well as experiencing the vibrant farmer's market atmosphere which has made this the historic spot where people gather whether they are sightseeing or purchasing their fish and veggies and flowers for dinner that night.
Pike Place Market photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Pike Place Market - The Soul of Seattle
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© 2009 Peggy Woods
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