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Seattle's Iconic Pike Place Market
I would be remiss as a writer who had this incredible opportunity to live in Seattle for a season in his life and did NOT produce an article about the world-famous Pacific Northwest icon, the Pike Place Market.
Second only to the Space Needle as the most easily identifiable marker of the Emerald City, The Market, as it is fondly referred to by the locals, runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. Its rustic, waterfront allure--not unlike that of the rugged, survivalist women of the night so characteristic of its historical repute--continues to draw ten million visitors annually.
I took lots of pictures on this particular visit to the market, hoping my broken digital camera--a hand-me-down from my brother, Charlie, during a family visit on Kaua'i--wouldn't have a final, fatal photographic hemorrhage and leave me in the lurch. As it turned out, my trusty companion labored hard without suffering from camera angina and is now taking a much deserved nap on my office shelf. (Maybe it's being middle-aged that compels me to personify my valued tools of the trade. Truth be told: I'm constantly projecting my own maladies and shortcomings onto things, an emotionally imbalanced practice, to be sure, but certainly one that keeps me from succumbing to depression and grumpiness. I'm encouraged that when I look in the mirror each morning, Walter Matthau still isn't looking back at me.)
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- To The Space Needle and Beyond!
Planning a visit to Seattle and the great Pacific Northwest. Check out all you need to know to make your visit to the Space Needle a memorable one. This iconic symbol of Seattle is a must visit.
Bulleted Facts About the Famous Market
- The market is approximately nine acres in size.
- Pike Place Market is nostalgically referred to as The Soul of Seattle because of the numerous tales of immigration, prostitution, economic class struggles, renovation, grass roots activism, and urban renewal that mark its historical significance in the Emerald City.
- In 1906, outraged citizens were fed up with the cost of onions skyrocketing tenfold. They found a hero in city councilman Thomas Revelle who proposed a revolutionary concept--customers would Meet the Producer--essentially cutting out the middle man wholesaler.
- Pike Place Market was born on August 17, 1907. Not intimidated by the angry wholesalers who threatened to blacklist them, eight brave farmers brought their produce to the market and were amazingly overwhelmed by 10,000 eager customers. All of their produce was sold by 11 AM. By the end of 1907, the first Market building was established, and every available space was quickly filled.
- A little over a century later, Pike Place Market is home to more than 200 commercial businesses; almost the same amount of craftspeople; approximately 100 farmers who rent table space by the day; about 250 street performers and musicians; and 300 apartment units, mostly for low-income elderly residents.
- With over ten million annual visitors, The Market is one of Washington state's most frequently visited destinations.
Best Actor: Photography; Best Supporting Actor: Writing
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't know about that, but I certainly know good pictures have a voice all their own. So, without further ado, I am going to let the following photos speak volumes for themselves. My interjections will be but salt and pepper complements to the picturesque entree.
Fun, Frolic, & Flying Fish
A Final Thought
An appropriate segue from the final photograph to the closing paragraph is that this was indeed a most fruitful day for writing about the popular Seattle tourist attraction--the Pike Place Market. If this article in any way and to any degree made you wish you were here, I am glad to have been the writer/photographer culprit responsible for that.