on driving home from Portland on a rainy night and going to Pike Place Market the next morning to find the soul of the city if not the weirdness

The beautifulness of Sunday morning caught me flat-footed after a stormy Saturday. Having come home from Portland in a driving rain behind a hundred lane-hopping 80 mph eighteen-wheelers the night before, I wasn’t in the frame of mind for anything overly-consuming. But I enticed Adam with the promise of a bus adventure and that’s how he and I came to spend several satisfying hours at Pike Place Market. After walking around interesting Portland, I desperately wanted as a sort of case study I guess you could say, to get myself into the soul of home. My favorite time to be in the Market is the earlier morning or late afternoon, when it feels more local and the Main and North Arcades are breathtakingly open but I also enjoy the intense-but-somewhat-bearable throb of humanity a winter weekend late morning brings because after all Pike Place Market would not be Pike Place Market without the euphoria of escaping onto Virginia Street from the chaos of being bodyslammed and poked by hundreds of people while simultaneously offered samples of a half dozen different fruits and cheeses. I just love lollygagging and pinballing with the boys down here, embedding the heritage of the sights and sounds (and smells) into their hometown cultural neural pathways so they’ll grow up to be respectable Seattleites.

a busker in front of Left Bank Books, with Adam

Adam’s piggybank money has practically been burning a hole in his Han Solo-frozen-in-carbonite piggy bank so I let him lead us around for awhile. The past few visits to the Market he had his eye on some beanie snakes, I guess you could call them, along the Main Arcade and he knew exactly where he was headed and the snake selection process was deadly serious business that took all of an eternity. You would have thought we were at an actual herpetarium the way he was carefully examining each snake. I was suspicious as to whether these were true artisanal beanie snakes but he wanted one really bad and it was his hard-earned birthday money so I just threw up my hands and let him banter importantly with the patient but bemused vendor. DownUnder he found a few more of his favorite shops and picked out little things like Pokemon cards and vintage Hot Wheels. I’ve been working with him on adding and subtracting money and so I decided to leave the accounting to him and he did a fine job under pressure, though I did have to brief him about occasional hustlers on the fringes of the Market because of the way he kept taking bills out of his moneypurse for recounting and flattening.

I thought the portrait of Adam and the statue busker in front of Left Bank Books was kind of cute, though I have to admit I was a little disappointed the guy gave the cheesy thumbs-up sign. Right after this he assumed a strikingly authentic pose of 17th century aristocracy, it was the coolest thing and would’ve been a lot more satisfying to share but wouldn’t you know it….. Adam’s eyes are closed in that one. Drat. At any rate, after a lot of standing around in different places to admire the hubbub and set up for some interesting shots, Adam insisted his feet were getting tired and he wanted to go home for lunch instead of eating in the Market. Our timing was superb as we leisurely strolled up to a waiting #43 a couple blocks away for the short ride over Capitol Hill back to our house. I find myself still wishing Seattle could be weirder like Portland but I’d never trade home away.

2 thoughts on “on driving home from Portland on a rainy night and going to Pike Place Market the next morning to find the soul of the city if not the weirdness

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