25 Feb 2011

Pike Place Market

One of many entrances to the public market
What would a trip to Seattle be without visiting "the soul of Seattle"?  The Market turned 100 in 2007 and is today visited by 10 million people a year.  Though it began as a place that farmers could sell vegetables directly to the consumer, thereby eliminating the middle man and keeping prices affordable, now there are around 300 farmers, fishermen and craftspeople selling their wares in and around the market (not to mention over 200 musicians and street performers!).

When thinking about what I like best about this bustling marketplace, the first thing that comes to mind is coffee.  I mean, it is Seattle after all, right?  Seattle Coffee Works served me the best espresso that I have ever had; and I have had a lot of espresso.  Though it isn't located directly inside the Market, it is right across the street, which is better in a way, as it also gives a small reprieve from the large crowds inside the Market.  The staff are all very friendly and knowledgeable, both about the coffee they are serving and about Seattle in general.  Next time you are in Seattle, you can't miss out on this amazing treat!

Sign above the main entrance to Pike Place Market
A stroll down Post Alley, under the Market will bring you to the Market Theater.  This is where you will find the famed "Gum Wall".  I had heard that it was started by people, who, tired of waiting in line for the theater, would entertain themselves by sticking coins to the wall, using gum as the adhesive.  The coins eventually disappeared, leaving behind the chewed gum.  After several attempts at cleaning the wall, the theatre finally gave in and it became a tourist attraction.  Though one would be able to argue that a wall covered in gum cannot be considered an "attraction", it does look quite fun.

The Corner Market Building
If you are around the Market during lunch time, I would recommend the El Puerco Lloron, towards the waterfront from the Market on the Pike Street Hillclimb.  Every time I find myself in Seattle, I stop in for the Rellenos de Queso.  They have a wonderful selection of salsas and excellent guacamole.

Pike Place Market stretches itself over 9 acres of land and includes several buildings, along with street vendors.  You can find almost everything your heart desires, from fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, clothes, toys, books, flowers and chowders to great views and excellent people watching.

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