Call me strange, but I love gritty downtowns.
And Seattle's Pike Place area is just that. Everywhere you look are characters, both colorful and seedy. What's more, they are bold. Of late, there has been legislation tossed around aimed at curbing aggressive panhandler behavior towards tourists, who often feel harassed or intimidated.
In my case, the riff raff didn't phase me at all. I suppose I'll always just be an Ocean Beach, CA girl at heart.
One such homeless gentleman was even friendly. Observing me taking a picture of this alley, he politely asked to be in my photograph and then posed with his cigarette.
Some of the sights of the day included...
and this Great Wall of Gum, which is not only one of the most germ-laden places on the planet, but also a popular wedding photography spot.
Do couples really have this conversation? "Honey, instead of Mt Rainier or the Space Needle as our backdrop, let's pose in front of the gum wall."
I'm surprised these children were allowed such close proximity. Their mom did eventually shoo them away, but only after the little girl curiously picked at one of the globs.
Another fun phenomenon occurring in Seattle is this roving pulled pork lunch truck, Maximus Minimus. They have set locations some days, but other times locals never know where it will pop up. How cool is a trailer with sunglasses on it?
Finally, the city will soon no longer be home to the famous landmark Lusty Lady Show. After 27 years of entertaining verbiage on the pink marquee, the business is closing. Some of the famous puns have included "The Loin King" and "Happy Spanksgiving." Oh, how I wish I could read the marquees in Japan!
As you might imagine, we don't have sights like these in Okinawa.
Oh, wait a minute, we do. Gate 2 Street.
What's your favorite thing about downtowns?