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Thursday, November 08, 2012

MY SEATTLE WEEKEND: PART III: Browsing around Pike Market

Pike Place Market

One of the great things about the hotel I stayed in (The Four Seasons) was that it was right in the midst of all the downtown action. I only had to walk a short block to arrive at the legendary Pike Place Market which is a farmer's market extraordinaire. The vibrant atmosphere, the crowds of people some come to shop, other (like me) just to browse, make it one of Seattle's most popular destinations. Some even say it's the 'soul' of Seattle!

I'd heard about the zany fish-mongers at the market so I headed straight for the Pike Fish Market right near the entrance.  A crowd had gathered to watch the antics of the fish handler's as the banter and show up their wares, acting up while they do it. It's worth taking time to stand there and gawk awhile. They sell 120 varieties of seafood from shellfish to salmon.

The fish is kept smothered under ice to keep it fresh.
Besides the entertaining guys at the fish store, you can interact with other farmers and merchants all through the market area which stretches for quite a long way and includes various levels. Peruse the fresh farm vegetables, stalls selling honey, home-made chocolate, herbs, and many other food items. There's even some entertaining curio shops in the downstairs area.

Lots of crafts to choose from.

Or browse along the colourful tables of craft items and other shops. You'll find almost every kind of craft there from candles to ornaments carved out of the ash left from the Mount St. Helen's volcanic explosion. There's more than sixty places to eat as well as live music to entertain you.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
When the market first opened in 1906 there were only eight farmers displaying their wares. Now there's more than 200 businesses, 190 craftsmen, and approximately 100 farmers. The Market is one of the most popular places in Seattle for both locals and tourists. I could have spent much longer there than I did but in the time it took me to wander around I think I saw most of it. Another time I'd like to make it a shopping trip. This time I was just a curious tourist.  But I did stop by one of the Japanese food booths and have a delicious chicken teriyaki on a skewer for my lunch. Just $3.75! Then I headed down to pay a visit to Pike Place Brewery for a cold Indian Pale Ale.
NEXT: Part IV: An Entertaining Evening at the Pike Brewing Company and Pub

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