Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Ooooooh doggie it was hot on Wednesday. It turned out to be the hottest day ever recorded in Seattle, or Washington (I'm not really sure which they said on the news because by then I had been roasting for many hours). Anyway, I had a good few early hours downtown exploring the Pike place Market area.

I saw the legendary fish market where they toss the fish, but no seafood was flying as I walked by. Rather than fish, I bought a trio of organic blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, and some Washington honey. Last year I had sciatica in Seattle, so it was all I could do to walk around a bit and get the flavor of the place. This year, free from sciatica, I was free to walk about the place and explore the lower level. Undercover Quilts, one of the quilt stores I was going to search for turned out to be right there on the lower level of the market. They had some very unique patterns from designers in the Pacific Northwest featuring orcas, salmon and other natural themes. Ordinarily, I don't buy kits for quilts because I prefer to choose my own projects, but my breath was taken away by a quilt called Glacier. I had the kit shipped to New Jersey figuring I'd never find the right fabrics to duplicate the shop sample. And I added a couple of other original patterns, too. After rubbing Rachel the brassy piggy bank's nose for good luck, I left the market to explore the surrounding area.

My stomach hasn't made the transition to West Coast time, so I was ready for lunch early. As I searched for a good place to eat near the market, I noticed that some establishments had closed because of the excessive heat. Later, locals at the conference explained to me that normally the climate here does not require control, and most people do not have air conditioners. Huh, imagine that. Anyway, as I searched for a lunch spot, I was intrigued by Bayou on 1st, a Cajun restaurant displaying a handwritten sign announcing that they had air conditioning. Yay! I

loved that place and the spicy chicken and sausage gumbo they served me! The staff was very friendly and made me feel at home even though I was a solo diner. (Contrast this with my earlier angry Tweets about the lousy service for this solo diner at Red Robin on the Waterfront!) I even sprung for dessert: yummy French vanilla cake with cream on top.

I hated to leave this cool environment, but I wanted to investigate So Much Yarn, a shop recommended to me by a Seattlite on Twitter. This place was on the second floor of an office condo building. I felt at home inside especially when I hear one of the customers at the counter say, "Oh my name's Margaret, too!" So naturally I had to chime in that I'm a Margaret, three. Funny moment. The shop had lots of nice yarn, of course, and also two shop bulldogs with lots of toys. One of the experts guided me through choosing two kinds of yarn with which to make a scarf. The two yarns are held together while knitting. As a very beginning knitter, I wanted something a little challenging, and this project should fill the bill. My consultant also recommended circular needles advising that they take up less room on the plane for one thing. I haven't started this yet, but tomorrow I start the long journey home with the knitting project in my carry-on.

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