Vote!!! (with a special note to you Seattle-folk regarding Pike Place Market)

Tomorrow is the big day. I’m going to be settling in at our dining room table, in full election mode, counting electoral votes, wondering where the senate will end up, and looking at a variety of state and local issues. I will be Twittering, and watching others do the same, whilst friends are over, noshing on spicy garlic chicken and eyeing that old bottle of Bushmill’s that I save for special occasions.

I am voting for Obama. This should surprise no one, as I am a moderate Democrat, and Obama, for all of the shouts of “liberal” and “Left wing”, truly appears to be the same. I will not be so bold to demand of you to vote for him, as voting is a first and foremost, a personal choice, and I will allow for the fact that the great majority of the readers here are intelligent and forthright, and can make up their own damn mind without me telling them what to do.

However, do allow me the opportunity to make a case for an issue in which I have a measure of interest. Specifically, I’m talking about the Pike Place Market Levy.

Upon moving to Seattle lo’ those several years ago, I had wondered about the Market,as I had never been there before. I knew of its existence, having seen it on television, and had read about it from several different writers, with all of them extolling its virtue.

It took me all of two days from unpacking for me to make my first trip. I fell instantly in love.

Is it possible to love a market? I’m not sure. But I certainly felt a deep appreciation and affection for the place. It had history, it had charm, and most importantly, it had a wide selection of food, from rare spices, to unique restaurants, and nearly everything in between. It took three years before I found an ingredient that Pike Place Market could not provide (Ethiopian Berebere, if you’re curious). It’s one of the few places that I can think of where one can choose between a restaurant that served high end French Cuisine, versus one that served scrapple as a side dish to clam hash.

Pike Place is one of the few institutions that I have faith in. It provides, and it provides well. When others praise their local food scene, all a Seattle-ite has to do is mention PPM, and others nod their head in agreement. It’s the trump card in any discussions surrounding Seattle’s validity as a food destination.

It’s also iconic, and brings more value as such than the other Seattle tourist destination, the Space Needle. You go to the Space Needle once, stand on the observation platform and then eat at the restaurant, and you’ve done all there is to do there. Pike Place Market can be a different experience with every visit. It has an Italian Deli, several fish stands, oodles of vegetable stands, fresh flowers, a Mexican grocer, a German Deli, Starbuck’s first location, an East Asian grocer, two decent butchers, and, oh yeah, it has a kick-ass comic store deep within it’s recesses.

It also needs money. It needs it for a variety of reasons which you can read here. Some of the updates include basic maintenance, such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning upgrades, others are more pressing, such as seismic upgrades.

The cost? $37 per year for each Seattle resident for the next five years.

Think about what Pike Place means, not only to you, but to the city of Seattle. It is an integral part of our community, as well as part of our national persona. For what we get in return, $37 a year is a bargain.

Please vote yes for Seattle’s Proposition 1.