Let me be honest and tell you that Seattle was a major letdown for me. Maybe it was because the sun didn’t show itself once during our time there, maybe it was because I had a craving for Mexican food and couldn’t find a decent place anywhere in the area, or maybe it was because it was graduation weekend and we really struggled to find a hotel and rental car. It was probably a combination of all of these things. Anyway, Seattle as a city fell disappointingly short of my expectations (don’t worry Seattle lovers, I’m already set on giving it another chance!). The one (and only) thing that DID live up to my expectations was Pike Place Market.
Established in 1907 as an answer to the problem of wholesaler price-gouging, Pike Place Market is the oldest continually run farmer’s market in the US. For 107 years, it has grown and adapted with the changing demands of the times.
Some interesting facts about Pike Place Market:
~ The first Starbucks opened here in 1971 (you can still see the original stall today)
~During WWII, hundreds of stalls went empty due to the internment of over half the Market’s farmer’s (being of Japanese descent)
~The famous neon sign and clock were added in 1928
~9 acres of the Market’s space is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
~Rachel the Piggybank collects over $10,000 every year to support social services for the Market including child care, a food bank, medical clinic, and senior center
Pike Place Market has survived two world wars, the Great Depression, severe damage due to a fire, attempts at demolition, all to remain the Seattle establishment that today attracts over 10 million visitors a year.
I love a good market. And Pike Place Market is the best. I watched fish thrown (and caught), ate fresh sushi, bought fresh produce, admired fresh flowers (notice a pattern here?), and shuffled down the crowded aisles between stalls checking out different homemade crafts and foods. It’s not just a place to buy things, it’s an EXPERIENCE. Bring your camera, an appetite, and patience for crowds.
Tip: Go to the Market during the day to get the full experience of the vendors and products. But go BACK at night if you want to get some great photos of the neon signs lit up, when the area is essentially empty, so you won’t have to fight crowds for angles or wait for people to get out of your shot.
What’s the best market you’ve ever been to? I need some more to add to my list to visit!