On a cool Saturday morning, Sunny White was where he has spent most of the past 45 years, at the fish market on Washington’s Southwest Waterfront, selling crabs to anyone he could persuade to buy.
“Hey, King! What you looking for?” White barked at a stranger in a Los Angeles Kings cap, pushing a crab at the man and his girlfriend before they could slip around the corner to check his competitor’s prices.
Anything was better than losing a customer to Jesse Taylor Seafood, owned by the Evans clan, otherwise known as White’s chief rival in the hurly-burly of peddling crabs.
“If you haven’t sold it in the first minute,” White said, reciting his own first law of fish market survival, “you’re not getting nothing.”
After four decades in the market’s trenches on Maine Avenue SW, White, 67, and his brother Billy, 60, owners of several business there, including Captain White Seafood City, are long accustomed to the open-air, over-the-counter hustle that has drawn customers since the early 1800s.
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