Monday, September 6, 2010

The Market Place

Pike's Place Market is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, especially on a sunny Sunday.

The Pike Market is well known for their Market Spice Tea which is available here, and online, too, if you care to order it. It was a big hit with our Colombian friends, so we made a special effort on Sunday to get down here and get some to take back with us. It has a strong orange and spice flavor; a black tea drenched in rich flavor. I have had it also under the title of "Russian Spice Tea," so that may be how it is found in other parts of the world.
A lot of flowers are available for sale here and since better than 80 percent of the flowers sold in the U.S. come from Bogota, perhaps we are seeing some Colombian flowers in this colorful mix!

During the winter a lot of local people come here to get their flowers and they are really priced quite reasonably. Seeing the sunflowers in the back row made me think about all the sunflowers we planted and watered while at the finca and I will be interested to see whether some more have been put in while we were away and how they have progressed.

To the left is a vendor selling every possible kind of rice, 
pasta, spaghetti, vermicelli, etc. on the face of this earth.
Today was the last Summer Sunday in Seattle. This is when you can park for free in a lot of places - no dropping coins into slots - and there are plenty of street vendors, musicians, and lots of wonderful smells and foods... look at the crowd inside the market hall! Doesn't look like the economy is suffering here, does it?

The other great delight is finding all sorts of different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Remarkably, Lorna and Mike, although they have a wide range of shapes and sizes, there was nothing to compare with your zucchini, though I looked long and hard.
Take a long hard look at the vegetable up near the center.
I think this vendor has a sense of humor.

You can find champagne grapes (miniature and sweet), Chinese fruits, Mexican vegetables, and other worldly treats to address any recipe needs you might have. One of the vendors was slicing off bits of a ripe and juicy yellow peach for everyone to sample that was very tempting, but we were on a mission and could not be diverted by our taste buds.

Playing a lively composition, possibly his own creation?
What else might you be searching for? Italian sweets? Washington honey? French pastries? German sausage? Russian caviar? There are incredible restaurants - small and large - along the street. Books? Candles? Potions? Someplace in the market you can find it. Jewelry, clothing, hats, tattoos, spices for food, spices for life.

Seattle has such a variety of cultures. You can walk down this market street and hear voices from many lands, people dressed in a variety of national garb, music from every possible range: classical to jazz, banjo to harmonica, even a piano on wheels was being enthusiastically played by its owner, with CDs to purchase if you like what he's offering.

There are blown glass ornaments, wall hangings made from every possible kind of material, photographs, line art, incredibly lovely creative works by artists who silently watch you walk by and art by those who try to entice you with demonstrations, questions or simply shoving their works at you, hoping their technique will be the one to sway you to part with your cash or debit card.

A balloon creature creator sells his twisted art to all who will buy in the park that overlooks Elliott Bay in Puget Sound.
It is like a smorgasboard of light, sound and color which I am ill-equipped to handle for very long. Like an over-stimulated child with too many sweets from pampering aunts and uncles, I finally have to leave it all behind and head back to the relative quiet of Mukilteo - grateful that I have that choice.

So I leave you with a short video of one of the musicians we heard... enjoy!

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