The sun was out today (if you have survived a Seattle winter, you know how exciting this is), so I chucked my normal routine, begged forgiveness from my editors, and played hookie with Carson. We went to Pike Place Market.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
A longtime Seattleite, I am a little ashamed to say that I rarely get down to the Market -- unless guests are in town. There are plenty of nearby farmer's markets, plus every grocery store a girl can imagine, near my home. But today, I had a reason to drive downtown: a stop at Le Panier to pick up Jason's Valentine's Day surprise: a Napoleon. In the process, I found myself giving my 1 year old a culinary tour of Seattle.
First, we visited the fish market, where a toothless fishmonger played peek-a-boo with Carson, who thought this was great fun. Next stop: produce stand, where we both fell in love with these gorgeous miniature eggplants and filled our bag with other treasures (sweet onions, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, yellow squash, and a few other things that I can't remember right now).
From there we buzzed over to the original Starbucks. I'll admit, I get a little sentimental about this place, even though I much prefer smaller cafes where shots of espresso are pulled by hand. But there's something special about the very first Starbucks. It's worn and torn, with a certain patina to everything, unlike the shiny new monochromatic stores everywhere else. It's kind of like the management just decided to let this place be, and I'm glad they did.
Carson pointed to Beecher's cheese shop, so we stopped in for a quick look at cheese being made (big vats of curds and way!). I tried to explain what was going on to him, but he was already interested in something outside: of course, a dog.
After standing on the curb visiting with a friendly looking mutt for a few minutes, we popped in to Michou for lunch (me: a divine chipotle chicken sandwich, and Carson: rosemary lentil soup) and then made our way to the grand finale: Le Panier.
One loaf of bread, two eclairs, a slice of apricot tart tatin, and a Napoleon later, we called it a day. But, not before I passed the spot where my teenage self was kissed by her then teenage lead-singer-in-a-band boyfriend. In an instant, I was 17 again, at the peak of Seattle's grunge/punk scene, smitten with a guy with a mohawk (yes, you've probably heard him on the radio, and no, I'm not telling you who). I looked down at Carson, who looks more like Jason everyday, and smiled deeply. It was a gift to remember how grateful I am that life turned out the way it did. Besides, I would have made a terrible groupie.