You know what the best part about living in a cool city is? That it’s a cool city. Thought I was going to say something pretty profound, huh? Nope it’s pretty basic, but oh so true. I love that Seattle is a place that people love coming to visit, that tourists and locals alike can enjoy everything that the Emerald city has to offer, whether it be a trip to the top of the Spaceneedle, a relaxing ferry ride to the beautiful surrounding islands, or just a casual walk through the city that entails going past the first ever Nordstroms, first ever Starbucks and first ever REI store. What is it with Seattleites and their knack for creating astoundingly successful businesses? Must be something about the rain…
Anywho, since my job is right smack dab in the middle of Pike Place Market, which just so happens to be one of my most favorite parts of Seattle, I get to see tourists coming in daily, bringing in their ‘just bought’ goodies, their lattes from the original SBux, and the fish they purchased from the cute guys who throw the unfortunate lil’ fellows. There is an energy in the market that is unmistakeable and irreplaceable. When I came to visit Seattle before I lived here, the market stole my heart. The heartbeat of Seattle runs right through every cobblestone, produce booth and flower stand of Pike’s place, and I have yet to get sick of it’s offerings, even after 6 years of living here. So it’s no wonder, that on my day off, it was time to be a ‘local tourist’ and revisit this Seattle landmark. As I embarked on my trip to the market, I had every intention of winding my way through it as if it were my first time there. My sister Holly and I decided to make a day of it, and ahem, ‘sample’ adult beverages as we made our way through. FIRST though, the most important meal of the day…coffee at Turkish Delight. I didn’t know about this place, but Holly raved about the Turkish coffee sold at this mom and pop owned cafe. So, of course, we had to start there. Have you ever had Turkish coffee? It is, simply, amazing. I mean, so damn good, even if you don’t like coffee, YOU WILL LOVE THIS STUFF.
Can you see how drizzly and grey it was that day? SO COZY! The perfect time to get a fresh brewed hot coffee. Im not exactly how they make Turkish coffee, but I know it involves a small gold pot, espresso roast, and lots of making sure it doesn’t boil. Sound about right? I know, I know, that was a really bad description, but you should try it, and then if you learn how they actually make it, report back and enlighten me!
As you enter the covered market, it is immediately abuzz with curious shoppers, talented vendors, live music, and beautiful fresh flowers EVERYWHERE.
So many vibrant colors, and varieties of flowers, I just want ALL OF THEM. Like, every single one. How cool would it be to just fill your entire house with them? Maybe a bit overwhelming. But also amazing.
My most favorite place to get chapstick and natural beauty products is located in the market. It is called Moon Valley Organics, and their stuff is quite simply, amazing. I have gone through about 10 of their chapsticks, and I cannot get enough. The products are natural, local, environmentally friendly, and they are major bee advocates, which is oh so important. Check out the link to learn more. We all need to do our part to save those little guys because they are absolutely pertinent to our existence on this earth! Ok, off my soap box I go. How about some produce from our local vendors?
Look at all those beautiful colors! They are almost too pretty to eat. The fruits and veggies look like little jewels in their containers, I just want to fill my house with those too! Local flower bouquets, a ton of local produce, lining all my shelves, on my night stand, coffee table…whaaaaatttt. Ok, too much Turkish coffee is maybe not such a good thing- I think the caffeine is going to my head. But seriously, it’s amazing how many goodies there are at these places. The other cool thing is that if there’s anything you want to try, that is completely allowed, and in fact, encouraged.
See these handsome guys?
Their job is to pluck up what they believe is the most delectable treat at their stand, and hand out samples to shoppers. Delicious Asian Pears and cute vendors to boot? I’ll take a dozen, please! (Of the pears, I mean). Go visit them at Sosio’s Fruit & Produce…and tell them I said ‘hi!’
Well, we are more than an hour into our local tourism trip, and we have NOT had a drink yet. Where should we go for the coldest beer in the city? I’m glad you asked…
I have never actually had a meal at the Athenian, but lemme tell you, I have had many a beer at this fine establishment. It overlooks the sound, has a groovy vibe throughout the place, and their beers are ICE-cold. Like the kind of ice-cold beer that you crave after a really long hike on a 90* summer day, where your mouth is dry and parched and all you can think of is saturating your throat with a freezing cold brewski. That kind of cold.
Look how frosty those are! Holly’s beer even became ice on the side. That should be mandatory beer practice at all bars, as far as I’m concerned. Look at our view as we sipped these tasty treats;
A little of this, a little of that, a ferris wheel, a ferry, you know, the usual. Now, don’t everybody run down to the Athenian at once for your cold beer, because I don’t want them to run out of cold mugs. We must be strategic and calculated about when we all go down there. Don’t tell too many people about this place either. Your each only allowed to tell 2 people maximum, and they must be your best friend or a relative. Pinky swear on it? OK, we’re official.
So what does a ready-for-anything gal and her sister do in the city with several more hours of daylight and a craft beer buzz? Pshhhh, they go to buy jewelry, of course! It has to be handmade, sterling silver from my favorite jeweler in the Pacific Northwest.
I have been buying jewelry from this guy for many years, before I even lived in Seattle. His name is Sam Kuo, and he is an absolute peach. Every time I go to visit his jewelry stand, he says, ‘How come your boyfriend is not buying this for you?!’ And I respond, ‘Sam, are you ever going to stop asking me that question?’ He chuckles, and suggests I meet his son. Okay Sam, okay. Another bracelet added to my collection, and I’d say it’s a fine time to sample another adult bevvy? Wouldn’t you agree?
As we scurry past all of the other people, locals and tourists alike, it is hard to pass up all the cliche photo ops. We’re on a locals vacation! Why suppress these urges?!
The local seafood…
The brass pig that I could NOT, for the life of me, convince my sister to ‘ride’…
The famous street sign that gives us a friendly reminder of exactly where we are (Wait, which way is Pike again…?)
The classic photo op of the oh-so-famous Pike Place Market sign…
I’d say that’s enough pictures in the market. Now I’m REALLY thirsty. Next stop? Rachel’s Ginger Beer.
This place is a Seattle institution that mixes up all sorts of variations on tasty ginger beer cocktails, their most popular of course, being a moscow mule. All the concoctions are pre-made and readily on tap. It is located right on the edge of the market, has an awesome little bar situated in Post Alley, and is a great place to take a load off in the midst of your touristy activities. I’ll drink to that!
How cute is my sister!?
Post cocktails, it is becoming that beautiful golden hour, where the light is that rich buttery yellow, and we decide we MUST go outside and enjoy it while we decide on our next destination. As we’re walking out, a man and his camera crew of 5 walk up and ask if we want to be in a music video. Uhhhh, I guess sooo…..? The director instructs us to stand on the sidewalk, look at each other and ‘act natural.’ Well, since Holly and I regularly stare into each other’s eyes, this felt pretty natural, but we’ll see how it shows up on screen ;). Check out Lou Stylez– he might be pretty famous one day, and I’ll be able to stay I stood on a street corner in his music video (read: He better not portray me as a hooker). Just sayin’.
One last stop before we call it a day? Might as well. Right up the street to one of our regular spots: Steelhead Diner.
This is the perfect place to go for a yummy snack and a delightful view. It is situated right over the market and has some awesome dishes that never disappoint. I recommend sitting at the bar so you can take in all the scenery- inside and out!
Well my friends, it’s been a full and fabulous day at the market. I think we did just about everything there was to do in this delightful little corner of Seattle, and honestly, I’m looking forward to doing it again soon. So whether you are here in this remarkable city, or in your own noteworthy place in the world, I definitely encourage you to take advantage of the touristy activities in your town. I think you will just LOVE it.
Goodnight, glorious Seattle.