Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seattle: Puget Sound and Pike Place Market

Seattle is situated on the west coast of Washington and is bordered by Puget Sound, an estuarine that stretches 100 miles north and south. For a nominal charge, one can ride the ferry across Puget Sound to any of the various islands on the other side. In the photo above, you can see one of the ferries that crosses the sound several times each day. Cars and other motorized vehicles are loaded on the bottom and passengers can ride in the comfortable compartments above.

A view of Seattle from the ferry. You can see the Space Needle on the left.
The Pike Place Market stretches across five blocks.

A trip to Seattle would not be complete without a visit to the Pike Place Market. Established 104 years ago, it is our nation’s oldest and largest farmer’s market. Products for sale come from all over the globe—Alaska to Zaire. Set on Seattle’s bustling waterfront, the market is a maze of hallways and tiny shops on three different levels. The most famous of these is Pike Place Fish where the men who work there have become internationally famous for throwing fish to each other, demonstrating the importance of teamwork. In addition to the shops and restaurants are the buskers—street performers who hope you will drop money into their open guitar cases after you stop to listen to their performances.

The market got its start on August 17, 1907 when eight farmers set up shop to sell directly to customers, rather than selling to stores who would jack up the prices before offering the food for sale. In a short time the farmers had sold all their produce and the market was born. Today the market spreads across nine acres.

Many residents of the downtown area do all of their grocery shopping at the Pike Place Market. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available in many of the market stalls.

Street performers make the market an exciting place to visit.

The open guitar case is an invitation to drop in a tip. Many street musicians count on the generosity of passersby.

Huge bunches of flowers are for sale for $10. The Seattle area is second only to the Netherlands in the production of tulips.

Playing a guitar and singing while keeping a hula hoop twirling takes real dexterity.

This man and his bird captured the attention of market shoppers.

This photo and the one above show the world famous Pike Place Fish Market.

More street musicians hoping for generous donations.
If you want to be a magician, this might be the shop for you.
Right among all the goods for sale is the Giant Shoe Museum.

The young woman who is seated is playing a saw. She is using a bow to make the saw sing.

An old fashioned barber shop


Rach said...

I've always wanted to visit Seattle, and in particular, Pike Place Market. Were you privileged to see them toss the fish?

Kelly said...

Pike Place Market is amazing. My senses were so stimulated when I was there. I'm so glad that you were able to soak up the experience!