Photos of Seattle's Pike Place Market from the last time I was there, several years ago (same as the previous two posts). It's surprising how rarely I go to Seattle; it's not only the closest big city outside Portland, but I was actually born there and most of my relatives still live there. Come to think of it, that may be why I go there so rarely. I average about one trip every five years or so, usually for someone's birthday or a wedding or something.
When I lived there as a kid, I don't recall going to Pike Place Market at all. It could be that I just don't remember it, since we moved away when I was 6. But I suspect my parents felt the place was old and disreputable, nothing like the nice new suburban malls we usually shopped at. As an adult, it's one of the very few things I actually envy Seattle for having, even though it's full of tourists and trinket stands.
Portland tried its hand at a public market back in 1933, and although it had a very cool Art Deco building, it was a financial debacle and closed in less than a decade. The now-defunct Oregon Journal newspaper owned it for a while after WWII, and the building was finally demolished in 1969, and the site is now part of Waterfront Park. You'd never know there was once an eleven story building there.
So for a long time I thought Seattle had a unique thing here that you couldn't find anywhere else in the country. And it's true that many cities either lost or never had an equivalent. But there are a few here and there, like the West Side Market in Cleveland. which I was rather dazzled by when I visited in March of this year.
There's a proposal floating around Portland that would build a shiny new public market at the west end of the Morrison Bridge, near the site of our fair city's previous debacle. This has been going around in circles for close to a decade now, and they haven't started construction yet, and to be honest I'm not entirely convinced the new one would fare better than the original. It's not as if we have a lack of options for upscale meat and produce here. I'd be much more impressed if they were working to bring affordable fresh produce to Lents or Rockwood instead of building another fancy creative class amenity for downtown. But hey, that's just me being a voice in the wilderness again. Still, if they build it, I'll probably show up and take some photos of it at some point.