Markets are inarguably my favorite places on earth. They always revive my love for humanity. The best pictures I’ve ever taken have been at markets. My most dear possessions are from markets. I cannot resist a market, nor can I resist buying things at markets. Which left me walking around Seattle in the rain with a pound of cherries, two pears, a navel orange, and an irrationally large bag of cinnamon. I like talking to people, to strangers really, and what better way to start chatting than to take a slice of the offered pear, professed to be the best in the land, or ask to take a picture of the harried men setting out shrimp cocktails for the mobs?

I chatted with a fishmonger, he leaning over his cold glass case, me reaching up on my tiptoes to show him my camera. He had the same Nikomat in high school, lugged around the same seven pound camera as my grandpa, my dad, and I. He asked if I developed my own film, and when  admitted that I preferred color, he nodded in agreement and handed me a bite of crab, winking and returning his attention to the masses of tourists clamoring for a bite of fish. Twenty meters down the market, a properly bearded young produce-selling hipster held a pear and a knife, ready to dole out a sample.

Two slices of pear later, I was being fed a chunk of heirloom navel orange and half a fig, commiserating about the annoying, pushy, photo-snapping tourists (one of which  I of course was, but somehow pretended not to be.) A momentary friendship later, I had a bag of oranges and pears and a few pictures. Twenty more meters later, I was drawn in by the plastic lizard menacingly devouring brussel sprouts in the display. Two minutes later, I was trying olive oils and buying cherries. I love markets. I get to buy things and banter with strangers and take pictures, for the price of a couple pieces of perfect fruit.

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