Pike Place Market: Alert, Alive and Active

I said; “I dropped it”

She said: “So did I”

She said; “So did I

We don’t need it

So we just passed it by”

So she just passed it by

Maybe you found it

and had breakfast the next day

I just mean to convey

All money is not pay  

                    Artis the Spoonman, Dollar Bill

More than the Space Needle or Mt. Rainier, the most popular destination in Seattle is Pike Place Market.  According to Travel and Leisure Magazine, Pike Place Market is the 33rd most visited tourist destination in the world!  This isn’t your typical farmer’s market.

Built in 1907 to accommodate the demand of farmers avoiding wholesalers and selling straight to consumers, the market became a major destination.  In those days, folks were desperate to find affordable fresh produce and seafood.  Over a century later, Pike Place is now home to hundreds of vendors including artists, florists, great restaurants and the most colorful people in the city.  The farmers and fish mongers are still here, too.

My favorite icon of the market is Spoonman.  To me, he represents everything the market is about. His baggy clothes, bare feet and scraggly beard might give you the impression that he is homeless.  Don’t judge too fast.  He has been performing as a Seattle musician since the early 1970’s and his career has taken him around the world, from T.V. to major festivals.  He has performed with Aerosmith, Phish, Frank Zappa and my personal favorite, Soundgarden.  This is a man who lives life on his own terms.  He doesn’t judge nor does he care about being judged.  He is a master in his own craft as he hammers the spoons against his face and body creating a rhythmic harmony of clicks all while reciting his own poetry.  His lyrics are true street cred, raw and real, always speaking out for the unfortunate.

He is one of a kind.  Google him! 

This image is 1 of a series of 3 that I named Alert, Active and Alive.  I can’t think of better adjectives to describe this place.  I wanted to capture this picture, with the cars cruising past, pedestrians all busy going somewhere.  Look closely and you’ll see a bicyclist crossing in the middle of the street. Lights glow through the market and someone is still working in the building to the right.  This place never goes to sleep and deserves to be a top destination on the world.  The best part?  You’ll never feel like it is a tourist area, thanks to real people like Artis the Spoonman.