The corner of Pine and Pike Place is ghostly and magical on a May evening, like a single jelly bean left in a bag because no one knows what flavor it is, discarded on an ancient burial ground. Pike Place Market closes at 6 PM and some tourists are still wandering between Post alley bars in the fading blue daylight. At this hour of the day, in the absence of flavored honey and Pike Place Fish’s airborne fish corpses, Pike Place Market’s popularity with tourists seems even more arbitrary than usual. It looks the same as any brick or cobblestone street in town that was built on a foundation of hundred-year-old garbage and toilets that all overflowed simultaneously when the tide came in http://www.senior-inet.com/articles/article5.htm, but with a few remnants of the day’s business, like this shriveled banana pepper. It was near a produce stand that was enclosed in after-hours plastic. There was something sinister about it, lying withered on the cobblestones in near-darkness. I expected it to be intensely spicy, but the piece I shaved off with a pair of scissors tasted just like a raisin. Leathery, sweet and mysteriously not spicy, a shred of this pepper was the perfect thing to eat on a street deserted except for a few people who had travelled thousands of miles to watch someone throw fish.
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