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Saturday, December 31, 2011

••◊ Pike Place Market at Christmas, 2011

I think the photo above represents how most out-of-towners think about Seattle.  Yes, it does rain often but in volume New York City (43 inches/year) gets more rain than Seattle (38 inches/year).  In fact, Seattle is ranked 44th among major US cities for annual rainfall.  If you think Pacific Northwesterners sit inside all winter next to a daylight mood lamp hoping for the sun to return... well, you'd just be wrong.  There are people out jogging in shorts - yep, shorts - when it's only 40 some degrees.  I remember days of going cycling in December and being unable to feel my toes for 40 miles.  You just adapt.  Daylight ends promptly at 4:30pm, which makes bed time confusing - but again, you just adapt.

My mom and I made a trek through Seattle's Pike Place Market last week just to do something touristy and fun at the holidays.  Lots of great pictures to be had.  The market is vivid with fresh produce.  Even though I didn't get a picture of this one thing, the market is best known for the flying fish mongers.  You pick out a fish, they wrap it, and throw it from the counter.  It was probably just an adaptation of the way the market counters are configured, but entertaining and unique.  Makes me wonder how often the newbie gets a cold wet fish in their face before they perfect their wide receiver technique?

Among many unique aspects of the market is Post Alley, featuring the world's largest collection of chewing gum stuck to a brick wall.  My mom was saying that a local TV personality was dared to lick the wall so they brought a sanitizing crew out to de-germ-ify and sure enough he licked it.  I personally think that deserves a resounding, yet classic, "ewwwww."  You would probably need a sand blaster to remove all that gum by now.  Only in fiercely independent Seattle would you find something so simply odd that it becomes an community attraction that locals take pride in.

For those who have a penchant for caffeine, I present the world's second Starbucks location.  Building grande mocha-latte-chino addicts since 1976.  The first location was at 2000 Western in 1971, but it was moved to this location five years later.

What would a market be without a street performer or two or twenty.  The hula-hooping troubadour shown below is Seattle's Emery Carl.  From the sidewalk below it looks like the market allocates spaces for performers.  Note the random instruments attached to his shoelaces.  I just wonder if he can pat his head and rub his tummy while chewing gum?

Another of Seattle's quirky art projects was an outdoor installation by Barbara Kruger using series of bronze pigs placed throughout downtown know as "Pigs on Parade".  "Rachael the Pig" by Georgia Gerber is a permanent fixture at the Pike Place Market.  I had to quickly take a photo in between kids hopping on for a piggy back ride with their parents snapping a picture. 

Somewhere between rows 161 and 163 is my mom's tile at the market.  The tiles were a fundraiser years ago.  We weren't able to find her tile this time.

Lowell's is a restaurant at the market best known for seafood.  Their logo at the top of the door frame says it all.

I saw these cigar box guitars in one of the vendor booths and just though they looked cool.  This display was an oasis among the vast battlefield of barkers selling home made jewelry.  Who can argue with a guitar that's logo-ed "Soul Cat?"  The closest thing I've seen to that is Phil Collen's guitar which was named "Soul-Ah."

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