Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pike Place Market

Holy Flying Fish, Batman!

That’s right, and you better watch your noggin when you enter Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the oldest continually operating farmer’s market in the USA. The famous fish throwing fishmongers (say that 20 times, holding your tongue) greet tourists at the main entrance.
I interviewed one of these sarcastic, fish wielding fellows a few days ago when I was on a MUSE hunt. And boy… was he a-MUSING! Here's the video. Play this video to see a “flying Fish”. Watch carefully, it happens fast!

Pike Place Market opened on August 17, 1907. Seattle area farmers were tired of paying a middle man to sell their produce. Farmers earned very little money this way, so they decided to set-up shop themselves. And the “Meet the Producers” motto has lived on today.

Just look at those beautiful veggies! Makes me want some Vegetable Soup! Here is a great recipe for kids!!!

And look at the fresh seafood. Sad for the crabs, but happy for the feast! Seattle is located on the Puget Sound, and fresh Dungeness Crabs are caught there daily! Watch out for octopus, though! The first time I went “crabbing” that’s what I caught! Imagine that!

Pike Place Market is home to 200 year-round businesses, 190 craftspeople, 100 farmers and 240 Street performers. Not all of these people show up every day, but they come and go throughout the year. And they are visited by 10 million shoppers annually.

Just a second ago, I mentioned the street performers. From singers, dancers, hula-hoopists, balloonists, and more – these talented people work for tips. And you can find them performing on one of the many painted music notes on the sidewalks.

The flower booths are another sight to behold! And the flowers are CHEAP! You can buy a beautiful arrangement for as little as $5! And the flower farms are local. I believe most of them are run by Loa immigrants.

If you don’t want produce, seafood, or flowers, the craft stalls are always fun to browse. From hand crocheted hats to funky finger puppets, there a hundreds of goodies to choose from. And below the main level of the market are a few more floors of independent businesses. I personally like the bookstore (grin).

And don’t forget “Rachel the Pig”, Pike Place Market’s unofficial mascot. Rachel is a five-hundred pound bronze piggy bank who welcomes tourists at the market’s entrance. She was designed by Washingtonian artist Georgia Gerber. This oversized piggy bank collects over $6,000 a year for charities. Currencies from all over the world are found in Rachel’s “gut”.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Market Theatre GUM WALL! I’m not quite sure if anyone knows whose gum started this MESS, but the culmination of textures and colors is an odd site. Is it just me, or does the close-up picture resemble Fruity Pebbles?

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF the fish throwing fishmongers were all dressed up like clowns?

WHAT IF your main character was Rachel the Pig? What if she wanted all that money for herself? What would she want to do with it?

WHAT IF there was a magic door in the gum wall, but you had to pull off the right piece of gum and chew it for door to reveal itself?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own WHAT IF questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “monger”. Here is the definition: a dealer in or trader of a commodity. (Fishmonger or Cheese-monger or …. Melon-monger hahaha)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Professor Watermelon,

    What is one day pike place market grew a pair of legs and moved to Oregon because it thought Washington was lame? How offensive!!! :););):):)

    What if pike place got so crowed someone knocked a main pole over and the whole thing crashed and crabs, veggies, and all the items started rolling on the ground? What a mess!
    - Shreya (6th)