Best Place to Eavesdrop

Pike Place Market

Seattleites tend to take the city's quirks for granted. When you've lived here long enough, 100 consecutive days of drizzle is ho-hum, the original Starbucks is just another nondescript corporate coffeeshop, and the fishmongers in Pike Place Market are—well, those guys are still pretty kick-ass. Tourists, on the other hand, tend to pick up on the things to which we've grown accustomed. Wander through the Market on a busy day and you'll overhear kids geeking out about the Gum Wall, amateur photogs gushing about the beauty of Elliott Bay, and bemused East Coasters snickering about local guys' beard/hoodie/horn-rimmed-glasses fashion sense. You'll also encounter some utterly brainless remarks, like the one from the woman who waits in line for an hour to order a latte from Starbucks, then swears it's the best she's ever had. (In these instances, keep an ear out for Pike Place employees muttering sarcastic retorts under their breath.) Either way, tourists are good for a laughably asinine observation or a fresh outsider's perspective that reminds you why this city is so great. KEEGAN HAMILTON 85 Pike St., 682-7453, pikeplacemarket.org

 
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