Sooner or later, everyone must visit the Market. A lot of Seattle-area people pride themselves on not going down to the Market, but eventually their number comes up. Maybe a second cousin is in town and wants to be taken there, it could be anything. What is strange though is that the visit clearly depicted here was captured by a painter rather than a photographer. You’d think that a camera, which can take a photo in 1/500th of a second, would be what captured this very unusual visit. The visit didn’t last long, but for the duration city officials closed off Post Alley. This was before the days of Ghost Alley Coffee but the Improv Theatre had a number of shows canceled and they simply had no script for that. Why the “Do Not Tease…” sign had to be erected is unclear. This may have been similar to the old “Granny who puts razor blades in Halloween candy”–simply a product of people’s wild imagination, and that theory is backed up by the fact they everyone I talked to who was there at the time was way too afraid to even think of teasing this visitor. The real problem with the visit wasn’t around the Market at all or even the Gum Wall, which did not exist at the time. The real problems occurred in the town of Fremont, which lost an incredible amount of self-esteem with the absence of their most famous resident. Some long-time Fremonters even began to question whether they did in fact actually live at the center of the Universe. But the whole issue was resolved, it appears, when the Fremont Council offered to switch the beat-up-old blue Volkswagon for a brand-new red BMW, and that appeared to be just what was needed to encourage a return to the original digs under the 99 Bridge. “A crisis has been averted,” sighed the Mayor and now the whole affair seems to have been largely forgotten with the exception of this original and a few thousand prints that you can still get at a little store in the Economy Arcade at the entrance to the Market and…Post Alley.
This is the acrylic original of the painting that is printed in several sizes, from Notecard to 14 x 18 and available 24/7 at this website and at the Pike Place Market store at 1st and Pike. By the signature I wrote “2009,” but I think the painting was painted much earlier than that as I had a full edition of it at 14 x 18 that sold out before I issued a printing that failed because of bad color, and now the third edition which is at the store. The original is on canvas and 18 x 24 inches. At the lower left the image of the Seattle Times with pretend headlines is actually an old-fashioned photograph that is ATG-taped to the painting.