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Pike Place Market

You don’t know Seattle until you see these gritty scenes

Sep 27, 2017
Along with houses of prostitution, First Avenue became home to arcades with coin-operated machines to watch racy moving pictures.
'First Avenue, Seattle' exhibit. Photo by Nancy Walz. ©Pike Place Market PDA 1981.

If you check into most hotels on First Avenue tonight, it'll run you at least $400. Not so in 1981, when low-income people found affordable rooms up and down "Skid Road" in single-room-occupancy hotels — for a night, or for the rest of their lives.

That shop owner you met at Pike Place Market? They've probably seen a ghost

Sep 6, 2017
Pike Place Market is notoriously, at least for people who work there, a hub of paranormal activity in Seattle. RadioActive's Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills decided to head down there to see for themselves.
FLICKR PHOTO/Joe Szilagyi (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/2xQ0kaK

Millions of people across the world believe in ghosts or have had a paranormal experience. RadioActive’s Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills delve deep into the paranormal culture around Seattle in search of a story of their own.


A view of the Pike Place Market in July 1919.
Seattle Municipal Archives

Pike Place is haunted by the ghosts of children.

Mercedes Carrabba is a second generation vendor at Pike Place. She says the nine acre Pike Place district “is the most haunted location in the city, if not possibly the state.”

Workers using steam cleaners to blast the gum off the walls of Post Alley below Pike Place Market on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Alas, poor gum wall … If you never had a chance to see the famous tourist attraction in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, you’re out of luck for now.

Workers began steam cleaning the gum-covered walls of the alley early Tuesday morning. It’s the first time in about 20 years that the walls have been cleaned.

Eat a chunk off the gum wall in Post Alley? Not so sure about that.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Better hurry if you want to see the famous – some might say infamous – gum wall at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, at least in its current incarnation. The market plans to scrub down the layers and layers of chewing gum stuck on the walls of Post Alley.  

Mercedes Carrabba, owner of Market Ghost Tours and Ghost Alley Espresso, told KUOW’s David Hyde that she’s excited about the scrubdown.

Fishmonger Andrew Wichmann says cruise ship traffic is great for Seattle but doesn't do much for him directly. They can't bring food onboard. "We wouldn't survive without local clientele."
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

The cruise ship docked at 7 a.m.

By 8 a.m., Danielle Smith and her family were at Pike Place Market, walking through the stalls. They had 48 hours to enjoy the city before flying home to Atlanta.

Cheu Chang, right, at the Indochinese Farm Project in Woodinville in the mid-80s.
Courtesy of WSU Extension/Sharon Coleman

If you’ve bought one of those big flower bouquets at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there’s a good chance a Hmong farmer sold it to you.

The Pike Place Market will expand westward, toward the waterfront.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Pike Place Market is going to expand westward.

On Monday, a Seattle City Council committee agreed to pay $34 million from the general fund to build new vendor stalls, senior housing and a public plaza.

The other half of the money comes from tax breaks, grants and philanthropists. The project is part of a larger effort to reconnect the market with the waterfront.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols has more.