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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Soundscape: Pike Place Fish Market

Pike Place Fish Market (5:05). People come from all over the world to visit Pike Place Market, an historic, open air market located in the heart of Seattle, Washington. Within the complex is  the Pike Place Fish Market, founded in 1930. It is  known for the tradition of fishmongers throwing fish that customers have purchased, before they are wrapped. There is a definite acoustic background punctuated by the shouting exchange of of the fishmongers.

"A typical routine will involve a customer ordering a fish, with their fishmongers in orange rubber overalls and boots calling out the order, which is loudly shouted back by all the other staff, at which point the original fishmonger will throw the customer's fish behind the counter for wrapping. Initially, the shouted repeating of the ordered fish began as a prank on one employee, but was enjoyed by customers, so it became a tradition. While working, the staff continually yell to each other and chant in unison while they throw ordered fish. At times, the fish market staff will throw a foam fish into the crowd to scare bystanders, or select a customer from the crowds to participate in the fish toss. Above the areas in which they throw fish, the market hangs a sign that reads, "Caution: Low Flying Fish". 

Source Text: Wikipeda. Video: YouTube.

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