OK. It’s true. I’m a curmudgeon. Two things I really dislike are neighborhood “fests” and seafood. Throw in an unpleasantly hot afternoon (another thing I’m not fond of, all that sun reflecting off the asphalt) and you have this year’s Ballard SeafoodFest. May the Norse be with you, indeed — if Norse is some variation of nausea.
But at least that explained why all those people were trying to park on our street. It wasn’t a neighborhood BBQ that we hadn’t been invited to.
On Market Street, it looked like much of the cast from the Fremont Sunday Market had migrated to Ballard for the weekend, interspersed with booths representing various Scandinavian groups and things. The waft of charred flesh hung over bank parking lots.
Folks wandered around looking dazed, not really sure what they were doing there. Others lined up for various maritime and other “delicacies” (meatballs, anyone?; deep fried pb&j, anyone?), browsed among the stalls, listened to live music, tried out the mobile climbing wall, bounced on something inflatable. Still others competed in the annual lutefisk eating competition, something I suspect is part of that very special hell reserved for really bad people.
Others had a different view and noted that thousands flocked to the event. I wonder how many of those were actually in downtown Ballard to watch the World Cup Final. It was a mob scene outside the Market Arms, again. Inside La Isla, Spanish fans chanted “Espagne, Espagne …” Its all history now. Spain scored the winner just minutes before the end of extra time. The crowd in La Isla exploded, and minutes later spilled out onto Market Street to the bemused indifference of the SeafoodFest folks lingering by the longboat. “The octopus was right,” said one of the revelers, before deflatedly turning and heading back into the bar, where the celebration continued.