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The market first opened in 1907 after a group of farmers decided to get together to sell good produce without the added cost of the middleman. Over the years, the market became a haphazard collection of open-air food stalls, bookstores, cappuccino bars and specialty stores so quaint and removed from the mad rush of time that it became one of Seattle's most popular tourist spots. Today's mall was renovated to look as it did at the turn of the century. It is always crowded with half the people buying and the other half soaking up the colorful atmosphere.
West of the intersection of Pike and First Avenue, under the famous market sign an clock is the covered Main Arcade where farmers and fishermen still sell their wares the old-fashioned way--on beds of ice in wooden boxes. All around the Arcade are bookstores, flower shops and tiny restaurants. Downstairs and to the rear of the Arcade are several larger restaurants and specialty stores. As the market has no security other than the three or four policemen perpetually hanging around the pastry shops and coffee bars, some caution is to be advised after dark.