Downtown Seattle

This morning Lane awoke feeling pretty good after last night’s emergency room treatment and we are both eager to spend the day roaming around Seattle with Michele. This will be great.

That there will be a change in plans is obvious the minute we go upstairs, as, even before one of the children announces it, it is clear that Michele has a migraine. So much for spending the day together.

Lane and I eat a quick breakfast and head into town, where the first order of business is parking. Eeek. It is really expensive and we have missed the “Early Bird” rate by 10 minutes. Dang.

Eventually we do find parking by the market (our options being limited by the fact that all of the surface lots have pay machines that do not give change, nor do they accept credit cards or the redesigned $10 or $20 bills). We cross the street and we are in Pike’s Place Market.

I love the market for its abundant displays of fresh fruit, veggies, and flowers. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of year, the market always seems to overflow with tempting produce.
We sample tree-ripened peaches and I vow to return for some of these and also for cherries and maybe apricots or raspberries. The vegetables also look beautiful. Maybe I should just buy some and cook dinner tonight!

I love the seafood displays as well, which always make me think about all the wonderful things I could cook for dinner. Past experience here, however, has taught me to be careful, as the displays occasionally look better than my purchase actually turns out to be. (I still find it amazing that I can get as good or better seafood at home from good old Coastal.) Still, the variety and quantity on display here is always enticing.

From the market we head off to do our shopping, stopping first at the Legacy to admire their collection of historic and contemporary native art.

From there, it is off to Pioneer Square to take in the wonderful Puget Sound exhibit at Stonington Gallery.

I’m especially taken with a pair of wooden rattles in the shape of mussels, but they are sold, so all I can do is gaze wistfully at them.

However, there are plenty of other things to admire in this show, including incredible underwater images by Jon Gross,

new work by Thomas Stream (an Aleut artist we have long admired),

and some lovely bronze fish by Ed Archie Noisecat (who used to work in the Twin Cities).

There are also other places to stop, including Ragazzi’sFlying Shuttle, with its lovely mix of textiles, jewelry, and ceramics; Flury and Company/Jackson Street Gallery, with its large collection of Curtis photographs and lovely old ethnographic items (including an irresistable piece of vintage southwestern jewelry).

Beyond Pioneer Square, we reach Azuma Gallery of Japanese art, where I buy a small etching by Ryohei Tanaka. (I’ve admired Tanaka’s elegant work since seeing it on a postcard from the gallery a year or two ago.)

In the process of choosing my little print, I have the opportunity to admire many other fabulous pieces that I could never hope to own, like this incredible woodblock print by Japanese master Joichi Hoshi. (You really have to see it to believe it, as the detail is so incredibly fine.)We are shopped out now and it is well past time for lunch. Lane thinks we are near Salumi (as seen on Anthony Bourdain’s quirky travel show) AND he thinks he can locate it. (Without an adress.) Ok. I’m game.

At least wandering about looking for Salumi gives me a chance to enjoy the wide variety of architecture on display in the part of Seattle. I love looking at buildings.
Although, something to eat would be nice. . .

Eventually I insist that we ask for directions and, in time, we locate a visitor information office. Lane wasn’t too far off, but we would not have found it on our own.

As it turns out, it’s just as well it took us so long to get here. It is now 2:30 and there is still a line snaking outside the door. Wow! This place MUST be good.

And it is. We score a tiny table stashed between the bathroom door, the shelf where the wine is stored, and the large communal table. There we share a platter of delectable cured meats and cheeses, which I round out with the house red.

I can see why area employees take the entire afternoon off in order to eat here.

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