Welcome Aboard Pike Place Market


Say you have a flight to, I don’t know, the Bahamas tomorrow. You’d pack up your suitcase with sandals, swimsuits, and sunscreen, and you’d put together a little carry-on to occupy yourself on the long flight. When you packed that carry-on, you’d leave out things you know won’t make it through security: giant bottles of shampoo, throwing stars, your favorite nunchucks. And some things you’d leave at home just as courtesy to other passengers: those headphones that leak like the Titanic, your brand-new pack of All About Poop scratch’n’sniff stickers, a well-worn copy of Gigli. You know what I mean.

As I walked through Pike Place Market today*, I found myself wondering, why not apply the same principles to walking through the busy downtown core of Seattle? Why not create our own little TSA regulations to protect the right of innocent Seattleites to enjoy a delicious ├ęclair from Le Panier?


  • Those damn double-wide strollers. Especially when you’re just carrying both of the kids anyway. And they are both in high school.
  • Your 20 sorority sisters who all insist on walking side-by-side.
  • Your dog-eared copy of How to Apply Makeup While Standing in the Middle of a Busy Sidewalk and Therefore Inconveniencing as Many People as Humanly Possible.
  • That needy boyfriend who can’t stand to be more than five inches away from you because what if you get lost, elbowing everyone who even breathes between the two of you.
  • Your thirty plastic bags from Ross, inevitably knocking over a small child. Or two. Or an entire preschool class.
  • That special cell phone that doesn’t work while you are walking.
  • Your car, particularly in the Market. Really, I feel no sympathy for people stupid enough to drive through the Market and then get frustrated with not being able to turn and nearly run over a grandma in a wheelchair.

And finally, as a special note: PLEASE, DO NOT JUST RANDOMLY STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC, PEDESTRIAN OR OTHERWISE. Move off to the side, step into a store, levitate, whatever. Or even talk while still walking! I know, Seattle is just crazy inventive and technologically advanced like that. Microsoft and all.

How about you? Anything you wish people would leave at home when downtown–material, behavioral, mineral, etc.? The comments await your ideas.

* I know, I know, it’s my fault for going down there in the first place–but I had some time to kill before the M’s game, so why not admire the flowers and watch some ferries? I usually enjoy the anonymously cheerful bustle, at least until someone suddenly stops in front of me for no discernable reason except to debate the pros and cons of Quebecois secession. And then I want to shove a piroshky into his or her ear.

Photo is an oldie but a goodie by our own dear Dylan via the group pool [flickr]. Toss your photos in!

8 Comments so far

  1. lisa (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 9:02 pm


  2. eldan (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

    Based on a particularly aggravating recent “I’m just trying to buy some damn groceries” experience:A film camera and assistant with a boom mic

  3. wesa (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

    I am soooooooo with you re: pedestrians just stopping in the middle of the aisles. MOVE ASIDE QUIT BLOCKING OTHERS! *shakes fist*

  4. elm (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    Visitors and workers downtown should leave their golf umbrellas at home.

  5. pffft (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    yeah – i can’t believe they actually let cars in the market. what gives. all the fat tourists who are afraid out of your damned cars should just stay home.

    if old people or people with disabilities need help seeing the market, we should provide a fleet of little golf cars and drivers to shuttle them around. or something.

  6. COMTE (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

    The Market needs some sort of special express lane for locals who just want to get to their favorite vegetable/fish stall and make an actual purchase, as opposed to the tourists who, to a person, amble down the center of the aisle AS SLOWLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE WHILE STILL QUALIFYING AS “WALKING”.


    Finally, (and this one is based on several years working at the Info Booth) “if you see a big sign right in front of you that says, “Public Market”, please do NOT ask ANYONE, ‘can you tell me where the market is?'”, because they are then allowed to punch you in the neck if you do.

  7. eldan (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

    @Comte: On the other hand, if you are at the bottom of the Pike St Hillclimb, please _do_ ask a local where the market is, because then we get to point upwards and laugh.

  8. Zee (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2007 @ 10:58 am

    Many years ago when the downtown skyline was much shorter than it is now, I worked on the waterfront and my default answer to “How do I get to the Space Needle?” was “Go outside, look up in the sky until you find it and then move yourself in that direction.”

    I agree with everyone expressed so far and would add LEARN TO USE ELEVATORS PROPERLY. Seriously, this makes me so crazy: if you are the first person in the elevator and you are going to a higher number floor, press your button and move to the back so that people getting on after you who are going to floors lower than yours will be able to get on and get off without having to weave around the bodies of those people who insist on blocking the doors by standing up front.

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