To market, to market

This afternoon was divine—blue sky and just the right amount of sunny brilliance. In Seattle, these days stand out like diamonds on a coal heap. We grow accustomed to the hues of the overcast heavens, to the fogs and mists. We do not like our skies too bright, but we do enjoy a glowing atmosphere. Today was the perfect azure with not a hint of glare. When this happens I make sure to venture out at lunch. Art awaited me on every corner.

I went to the Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s well-known charms. The vegetables astound, the flowers amaze, but there are so many glories to sample. I walked past the famous fish vendor where they are often tossing salmon. Crabs were stacked into the fresh ice, one next to the other. They formed an almost-geometric pattern of pink and white. It was gorgeous.

On another corner I watched a merry band of buskers, young kids who looked to be about high school age. The slim boy with the pompadour haircut was doing a very convincing imitation of Johnny Cash, belting out Jackson with his female accompaniment. He looked too small to hold up his haircut and the girls wore elaborately-tooled boots several sizes too large. I stood and listened: “We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. We’ve been talking ’bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out. . . .”   They were talented and bizarre at the same time, like Ken and his Barbies at the Grand Ole Opry. I tossed them a handful of change.

Out on the cobblestone street was a serendipitous masterpiece—someone had spilled a handful of rainbow-colored goldfish crackers. A few remained intact, but most had been crushed underfoot, becoming bursts of color on the dark stone. The destroyed snacks now looked like a frozen fireworks display. I did not have a camera, so I am capturing them in ink. Look—aren’t they lovely?

I ate lunch, too—nibbling from many places. I had a kasha knish, some fresh plums and a lavender ice cream cone. The food complemented my country music, crushed crackers and ornamental crabs. Next time I’ll choose different treats and new things will bewitch me. I can’t wait.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

34. Go on a scavenger hunt looking for five cool things, and share them with someone else. You can take photos or tell stories, write postcards or draw artwork. Have a friend hunt in the same area. Did you notice the same things or different ones?

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