A seven day adventure took us across the Cascade mountain range into the Emerald City, Seattle. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, from beginning to end, I found my time in this deeply forested, mountain surrounded city awe-inspiring. From my camera’s eye, I bring you views of Pike Place Market and the surrounding landscape.
There were plenty of fellow tourists gawking at the sights and sounds, and were quite a show on their own, but the scene of local celebrity was even more eye pleasing. People watching became one of my favorite sporting events during the week we were here. There is a style, a calming relaxed vibe that rises above the chaos of constant movement in this area of Seattle. And, there is the excitement of the unexpected. Everywhere you look, there is something to surprise your senses. First and foremost, it is the surrounding view.
On a clear day, and there are not many, you can see Mount Rainier. The forest of unbelievably tall evergreens is a stunning backdrop to Puget Sound and all the busyness of ships and planes.
There is of course, the food in the market. A stunning array of salmon, crab, and shrimp remind you of the original reason for Pike Place Market. More than 100 years old, the occasional idea to gentrify this glorious shopping mecca has been shot down again and again. I felt nothing but gratitude for the gritty excitement that bounces off these old walls.
Stunning arrays of food; fish, produce, coffee, pasta in styles and flavors you can’t imagine. Then there are the tea shops, the candy counters, the bakeries and the sausage makers. The aroma that wafts through and assaults your senses. Walk a few more feet and the food stalls are forgotten because it becomes all about the flowers.
Affordable arrangements of the most stunning bouquets hold your eye. It rains so often in Washington, that the reason almost everyone held a cluster or two of colorful flowers did not elude me. That cheerful vase of brightness could really add something to a neutrally gray background.
Turn a corner, and a giant squid sculpture, hanging from the ceiling catches your eye. Everywhere you look, inside and out, there is something for your eyes to feast on.
One day at Pike Place Market was not enough. We enjoyed brunch here and the view while we ate, and took in all of the sights we could, but realized that a second trip would be just as wonderful.
Head down a short hall, away from a little tea shop and voila, you have found an urban garden. A chalk paint covered pig, complete with a basket full of decorative colored chalk hanging from its snout greets you in this garden. Unexpected? You bet! I particularly liked the pig hoof feet holding up the pink Adirondack style chair. Our daughter, a fine art graduate, thought the pig itself needed eye liner and couldn’t resist the chalky opportunity to embellish.
Taking in all of the visual and olfactory stimulation left us hungry for sustenance. The Athenian, basically a diner with a fantastic view and a terrific bar fit the bill. Bolstered by an eggs Benedict dish served over crab cakes, and a spicy Bloody Mary, I was ready for round two.
The well organized and chock-a-bloc full DeLaurenti market was something I wanted to take home in its entirety. This market within, had several racks fully dedicated just to bitters. The bartender in my mind went wild with ideas. There were sights everywhere that reminded me of culinary friends, especially this hot sauce display.
Another item that didn’t make it into the suitcase, was this package of spaghetti. You’d need a pretty big pot to cook up this pasta.
Starbucks is ubiquitous in Seattle, so I didn’t really understand the great attraction for so many standing in line to purchase a cup of coffee at this particular store, until I learned that it is the FIRST Starbucks. Okay, I like a good cup of coffee, but my fan-girl attitude was lacking in this case. For those who do get it though, I’ll close with a picture of the crowd in front of the coffee house.