Photo courtesy Flickr
Now that we no longer own an automobile, Saturday morning visits to the Market feel like hitching up the buckboard and going into town for supplies. I have never hitched up a real buckboard, but I’ve done my share of remote weekly shopping with a VW Bug.
It’s fun rediscovering vintage downtown. On foot, I can enjoy a substantial breakfast and a historic view, provision us for the week from first-rate sources, pick up housekeeping odds and ends, check the art museum and library, and take in a real movie with real popcorn before hiking or bussing home. A rolling backpack fitted with a soft-sided cooler, if necessary, does the hauling.
The Market is at its best before they throw the first fish. Vendors are rested. Buying food is buying food instead of a freak show. The Market has its dignity early in the day.
When basic tasks are finished, we can stroll north. The area offers a fine gallery of Northwest native art, boutique storefronts, and a First Avenue lumber salvage operation that turns noble local timber into tables for the board room, so to speak.
In the early Seventies, architect Victor Steinbrueck and the three friends who founded Mermaid Coffee fought successfully to save the Market from development. One of the Mermaid crew said his vision was to copy Milo Minderbinder’s Gimme Eat Corp from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. He wanted the best of every comestible to be available on Pike Place. We’re close and getting closer.
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