I’ve lived in Seattle nearly 40 years and I’ve only been to the Pike Place Market a handful of times. It’s too touristy for me and so we generally only make the trip when out-of-town guests visits. My niece was married last Saturday so we did the tourist thing with our nephew from Arkansas. I did purchase a few things and I’ll share them in the next few days.
The Market was packed as usual and by noon I felt like a Salmon trying to swim upstream against the current to spawn. Get there early to avoid the crush and you’ll have a better experience. Also try to avoid the bottlenecks, especially around the famous flying fish stand. It gets 3-4 people deep in that area and it impedes traffic. But, it’s fun to watch the fish fly so stand to the far left of the stand for the best view.
The Market has changed in the last few years and sadly, not for the better. On this day, many of the vendors were not interacting with customers or potential customers, but sitting back and reading or eating. Several didn’t bother to even glance up until they saw my camera. At the mere sight of it, they popped up from their seats and waved their hands in front of the goods and said, “No pictures!” Not exactly welcoming in a place that is supposed to cater to tourists, most carrying cameras and wanting nothing more than a few pictures to memorialize their visit. Many of the booths had warning signs and few vendors exchanged pleasantries. There were a few exceptions, and those ended up being the people I made purchases from.
There were plenty of fruits and vegetables for sale. Most memorable were some delicious “one day old” cherries, but none that were organic so I came home empty handed.In fact, I was disappointed at the lack of organic fruit and produce available – I find more in my local Albertson’s Store – and the prices at the Market were higher. I have to say I was surprised that in Seattle organic wasn’t the norm.
The weather was perfect and the market is a must-visit for visitors as it is gorgeous as the photos show and full of history, but the crowds and vendors take away from the pleasure. We’ll continue to visit the Market when we have to, but that’s about it.
Enjoy this pictorial visit!
Visit the Pike Place Market website for hours, events, and more.
We also visited the waterfront and Seattle Center – watch for photos soon!
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- Lorenzo Romar, Steve Sarkisian at Pike Place Market today (seattletimes.nwsource.com)