I only have one event today, and no travel, so I slept in until (almost) eight. Yes, that counts as sleeping in for me.
I can walk to Pike Place Market from my hotel, so that’s what I did for breakfast. I had never been there before, but was eager to see it. I love public markets. I know they get a little touristy, but I don’t care. I love the pyramids of produce, the crush of the crowd (something I’m not fond of in other contexts, but it somehow seems right in this one), the inevitable buskers and hustlers. This market reminded me more of the one in Philly than the one at Granville Island in Vancouver; they’ve kept the old hand-painted and neon signs, many of which are eccentric and inadvertently humourous. There’s a big sign proclaiming Sanitary Public Market, for example, and that you could get Sanitary Water, Milk, and Produce. Of course that’s what one wants, but for some reason it made me giggle.
There were several very good street musicians, in fact, particularly the fiddle player (near the big bronze pig) and the banjo hipster (near Starbucks). There was a dude who had brought his own piano, and was banging away ferociously. I ended up giving my change to a lonely guy at the far end of the market, though, who was playing guitar and singing Jethro Tull’s “Farm on the Freeway”. There was a certain pathos to him.
But you see, this always happens: now I’m thinking about markets, and wondering whether any part of my opus-in-progress could have more market action to it. I’ve been to many markets – in Greece and Mexico, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, boot sales in England – and there’s something so vibrant and vital about them. It’s a very human place, the agora. I wonder whether I could adequately capture the essence of it in words.