the Pike Place Fish Market
Ahhh, the briny sea! The salty tang of the morning breeze (there's always a breeze).
Looming, laborious and still graceful, the ferries begin their day of to and fro from Pier 52 to Bainbridge Island, Bremerton and on across Elliot Bay.
Their baleful and yes even romantic (go figure!) horns signaling hales through the lifting vale of fog.
The cacophony of the gulls as tourist line up for breakfast treats (the gull's, not the tourist) is in no way melodic.
If you were there early enough, and hung around long enough, faint tendrils of steam can be seen rising off your shoulders as the early to mid morning sun reaches through; seemingly to demonstrate one more time, that there is a world outside the fog and the ever migrating cloud banks of the Great Pacific North West.
Perhaps a steaming breakfast chowder partnered with the now all to familiar latte will fortify you for the day's sight seeing venture.
Gotta get native ya know, and there's no better way than to eat the tourist food!
For a Texas boy born way too far from any coast, such a moment can be ...ethereal.
But what's this clamoring, calling, and growing bustle as I make my way inland up Pike St.?
Yet another local (if not so natural) phenomena...
the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market!
Yupper. Fish do fly! And little kids believe they can talk! Clad in orange waders and classic seaman's toboggans (are they still called toboggans?), fishmongers embrace the growing tide of shoppers, tourist, and avid onlookers as another day has come to the market known for playing with your food before you get it.
"Boy! My mom would have never let me...never mind."
And there I stood, watched, laughed, ate, hollered too, and laughed some more for the rest of the morning. People from all over the world, babies to grandpas and all between; a symphony of excitement, charm and memories.
I don't know about everybody else, but I can't be alone on this. There is a senses capturing spell that can pull you into this carnival like little I have ever experienced anywhere else. In a moment you may find yourself in chorus as fish orders are called out, cheering the salmon sailing up and over the counter, approving grandbaby pictures from ...Norway? Belize? Grinning, as yet another kid, startled, peels in laughter at a talking catfish.
There's no shortage of "melting pot" locations all across this great nation of ours, I've seen a couple.
But there's just something about the market, and it's nothing fishy at all.
My visit was all to short, to long ago, still, indelibly etched.
You know the words... "If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend..."
Psst. Take a peak y'rself...