October 29, 2021
My ESPN feed this week highlighted the Seattle Kraken who are in their inaugural year for the 2021-22 NHL season. Like most new teams they are trying to adopt local traditions into their game. One that hockey fans are loving is the Kraken postgame salmon toss. The postgame salmon toss is awarded as an honor to the team’s three stars of the night. The Kraken give the standout performers at a home game a distinction in a cool way beyond just putting them on the video board. The toss consists of the Seattle players tossing salmon (rubber or stuffed, not real fish) over the glass and into the fans after the game. The Pike Place Market is one of the biggest attractions in Seattle where you can see vendors and fishermen tossing fish to one another as they are being packaged and sold.
When I checked online, I found the Pike Place Market is a public market in Seattle, Washington. The Market opened on August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the US. Located on the Elliott Bay waterfront on Puget Sound, it serves as a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople, and merchants. It is named for its central street, Pike Place (yes, like the coffee), which runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street on the western edge of Downtown Seattle. Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world, with more than 10 million annual visitors.
When Melissa and I visit our son and his family just outside of Seattle, we like to also browse through the Pike Place Market. The street level of the Market contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent on a daily basis. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill and has several lower levels below the main level. Each level features a variety of unique shops like antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. Pike Place Market is also home to nearly 500 residents who live in eight different buildings throughout the Market. Most of these buildings have been low-income housing in the past.
Thoughts: The fish market at Pike Place sells a variety of locally caught fish and is a great place to buy fresh salmon. The buyer will select their fish, the monger will grab it, throw it 20 feet (18.5 meters) to be caught by the person at the scale where it is weighted, wrapped, and priced. I have never seen a fish dropped. While I enjoy watching the mongers throw fish, it is more fun to watch the tourists. The mongers rig certain fish with microphones and fishing line to make them move and talk to the tourists (ala, Billy Bass). Even when you know it is going to happen, it still startles the unwary. As we approach our second Halloween during the pandemic, we need to remember that even being startled by the events of the world, we do not have to be overcome by them. Follow the science. Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.