It's the home of the first Starbucks, and the famous fish-throwing seafood vendors. But that's not why I was there. I was leaving school in British Columbia and beginning a 30-Day North American train trip. I was leaving the Pacific Northwest, and there was no better place to end my time there. This had been a powerful season of my life. I felt connected here now. So it was nice to be in a place rich with local culture.
A professor and his wife took me to their Seattle home before heading to the market and the Seattle Amtrak station. I love seeing places through the eyes of people who live there. We walked the tourist route and saw the landmarks, and they insisted the highlight was eating fresh clam chowder on the boardwalk. But I don't like clam chowder.
Or I didn't until Pike Place. That was fresh seafood in that bowl and it was incredible. We ate outside watching seagulls gather. It was beautiful and quiet and bittersweet. I knew there was nothing like this back home and knew I would always want to come back to Seattle and Portland and Vancouver.
Go to Pike Place Market and take some money (I had to be frugal on my trip). There are crafts and foods, and stores. To experience it fully. you probably have to live close by. But if you get to visit, at least have some clam chowder.