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home of the market crazies

I'm reporting today from Seattle's Pike Place Market; a place where tourist, junkies, housewives, middlemen, fish throwers and brass pigs all meet together in perfect harmony. Mostly.

It's so lovely to come at 8am when no one is there and the vendors are all chattering and setting up their stalls. You get to see a totally different side of all of them Usually I go in the afternoon when they are all well into their day and a little jaded already. Now, though, freshly showered heads bob among rarely showered ones. It feels so cool for it all to be part of my hometown.

My friend Cara is setting up as well. Knowing the market scheme, she can get work at different booths, as they need help, since she is known to be reliable. Today she is selling soap, and as she vigorously packs gift boxes with this serrated fancy shredded cardboard filler, she looks over to me and says in all seriousness, "Crinkle wrap is the key to all gifts."