Friends of the Market Newsletter
Like April's scattered showers, this month's news is here, there, everywhere: past, present and future.
PASSING OF LONG-TIME MARKET FIGURE
The golden glory of March daffodils is gone from the Market. So, also, has a familiar Market figure passed from our midst. Alex Jackson, as artist and resident, was a long time member of the Market Community. Many will remember Alex making his slow and steady way down the Market bricks, often with the aid of a single crutch used as a walking stick. A member of the Tlingt tribe, his destination frequently was the pergola in Victor Steinbrueck Park (underscoring the importance of the pergola as a meeting place for native peoples). Alex's daily presence in the Market is greatly missed.
Again this year, daffodils played their traditional role as harbingers of spring. On Daffodil Day, greeters from the Market spread throughout downtown offering a flower to passers-by to welcome in the season, and to remind these potential shoppers of how lovely the Market is this time of year. Did you see the photo in the Seattle Times of the little girl holding out one single blossom? It was a charming picture (and great free advertising for the Market!)
GUM WALL PHENOMENON
But, for free advertising, there is nothing (yet) that can compare with the gum-wall-cleaning story. The national and international reach of reporting on the cleaning of the gum wall received 13.5 BILLION impressions: that's enough for every human on the planet to have encountered it twice!
And the gum wall is a gift that just keeps giving. This month, at a National Geographic Live lecture, photographer Charlie Hamilton James showed two pictures of Pike Place Market. And, what scene in the Market did he choose to display? Why, the gum wall, of course! The first scene showed a young woman in the process of "re-gumming" the wall, in which endeavor she clearly had much company. The second frame showed a young man looking disconsolately at the sole of his shoe, on which was firmly stuck a piece of freshly chewed gum. Quipped the lecturer, "Well, what did he expect?!"
There is just no predicting what will capture people's imaginations...but whatever keeps the Market on their minds!
MARKET FOUNDATION LUNCHEON
On (perhaps) a somewhat more up-lifting topic, the Market Foundation held their Care for the Market Luncheon in March. The entertainment by Casper Baby Pants featured special singers: children from the Market Child Care. They, along with everyone else in the room, sang a rousing chorus of "All Together Now", an apt theme for the Market. Watching the kids enthusiastically hop up and down to the next tune, a song about Mr. Rabbit, was a highlight of the afternoon. Most impressive, though, was the $185,000 raised for the support of Market Foundation programs.
The next Market Foundation event is Arcade Lights, happening on April 22.
NEW MARKET BUSINESSES
New businesses, reflecting olden times, open up this month on First Avenue.
The first is Old Stove Brewery. Walking into Old Stove Brewery will transport you back to the time of the Market's beginning. The namesake Kalamazoo cast iron stove dates back to the early 1900's and the mural on the wall depicts the styles of that time. The mural also serves as the vehicle to entertain diners in a game of "I Spy", with twenty objects hidden for kids (of all ages) to try to discover. In the spirit of "All Together Now", some proceeds from Old Stove's April 16th opening were donated to the MarketFront project.
Nearby (although from a little later in the century) is Shug's Soda Fountain and Ice Cream. Shug's is a 1930-40's era soda shop, complete with an old-fashioned soda fountain and swiveling stools. There is a modern twist: Shug's will also offer a cafe menu, as well as beer and wine. Shug's is scheduled to open for your ice cream (and other) enjoyment on April 25th.
One new business, previously expected to open this month, won't. The butcher shop, that had intended to fill an open space in the Corner Market Building, has withdrawn. Their withdrawal serves as a reminder of how difficult a task it can be to keep the Market true to its "grocery-shopping" roots.
CRUISE SHIP SEASON STARTS
The cruise ships begin arriving on April 29th, with 203 scheduled this year compared to 192 last. This is good news for those who reap the tourist dollars, but not-so-good news in terms of the crowding/congestion for Market regulars. Market vendors hope that all local shoppers will "come early!...come weekdays!...come people-watch! It's your Market!"
FRIENDS OF THE MARKET NEWS COMING NEXT
Next month's newsletter will be filled with Friends of the Market news from the quarterly Board meeting, which all members are welcome to attend! The meeting is scheduled for April 25th, at 4 p.m., in the Goodwin Library.
As always, question, suggestions and comments are welcome at my email address below.
Written by Christine Vaughan, firstname.lastname@example.org