Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mosaic of Stages at Pike Place Market

Hugh Hedin

Recently thrown fish, fresh produce, vibrant bouquets, and good eats are the things people take with them as they return home from Pike Place Market. People love it here. What makes their visit to Seattle’s most famed attraction a pleasant experience, however, is probably not anything tangible; it’s most likely a product generated by their senses. One of these ethereal forces is my focus. As always, the countless street performers of Pike Place Market welcome its visitors with a diverse display of world music and entertainment.

Everyone can picture these types of performers. They’re usually seated on a bucket or stool, or standing against a wall at a busy pedestrian intersection. In their hands is their instrument of choice; at their feet sits an open guitar case or coffee can. That’s it—at the end of the day, they can walk home holding all of the equipment necessary for tomorrow’s show. Their temporary setups are, in a way, like a patchwork of urban stages throughout the Pike Place Market area. These musicians provide an invaluable asset to the energetic urban vernacular of downtown Seattle, and foster exciting social interactions. While their space-creating shows are modest, temporary, and unscheduled, one can be certain to have a pleasant soundtrack to their shopping experience or a place to pause and watch a live show with fellow listeners.

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