Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hell's Version of a Farmer's Market

When we first rented an apartment in the urban jungle, we would attend the farmer's market down town and actually enjoyed it. We would walk the stands, enjoying the atmosphere, snacking, picking up some breads, cheeses and vegetables for later consumption. Although crowded by our local small town farmer's market standards, it wasn't crowded by urban jungle standards.

Somehow time had passed us by and it had probably been a year since we had walked the farmer's market and we decided to remedy it. The first thing we noticed when we got close were all the parking lots where we normally parked before were now pay lots requiring cash up front to some guy standings in the middle of their entrance. In fact as we drove several blocks past those lots, there were cars everywhere. Since we were planning on stopping by the Science Center which we now have season passes too, I pulled into the ramp for it and we walked back to the market. Things didn't improve.

The entire market was shoulder to shoulder full of people requiring you to shuffle your feet as you walked because there just wasn't enough room for a full stride. Instead of people shopping for fresh organic veggies, the streets were full of shuffling robots who were trying to navigate the street which was blocked by oblivious people who felt the need to socialize with their long lost friend right in the middle of the street. Yes, I am sad to say that it was clear to me that the farmer's market in the urban jungle is now a fashionable and trendy place to be. People were coming here to be seen here.

It seems as if the fruit, vegetable, and home prepared goods every where you looked had been replaced by essentially street vendors selling overpriced food which they can get by with in a trendy crowd. There were still vegetable and baked goods to be found but they were now few and far between and even if they were still as delicious as always, it wouldn't be worth having to fight walking through the ebbing crowd as it sluiced it's way between stands and groups of people holding their reunion in the middle of the street. We bought a loaf of walnut bread, cut our losses and slipped into an alley to walk back to our car and avoid having to shuffle for four blocks back the way we came. I'm going to miss the farmer's market.

9 comments:

Vince said...

Is there a bit of the city bloke in the country complaining about the smells of silage and cowshit. :-)

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. Sherman said...

I think you have to keep looking around. The smaller markets spring up and then when things get too crowded, people move on. I've not been to St. Louis' Soulard Market in awhile, but I've heard it's become the same way. If you go, you gotta show up at 4:00 AM to get the good stuff. By 10:00 AM it's just tourists.

Cheers.

Ed said...

Vince - I meet them all the time unfortunately. :)

Ron - I hope it dies eventually. My hope is that shopping at the mega malls on the outskirts of town will become fashionable freeing up more space in town for people like me who don't shop there.

R. Sherman - We have an excellent farmer's market here in our tiny rural Iowa town so I'll probably just confine myself to it for the time being.

Ron said...

I wish blogger would let a person edit comments.

PhilippinesPhil said...

I hate ALL shopping... they don't make a psychotropic pill strong enough for me to even consider it. "People suck," is my mantra, and you know what? They suck ALL over the world (present company excluded of course). How's that for curmudgeonship? chuckle...

Frank D. Myers said...

A positive thing about the Des Moines farmers market (and it's been a while since I've been there) is that it seems to have breathed new life into our hometown farmer's market, which has gotten increasingly popular and better stocked. Not the variety or volume, but none of the over-crowding or auxiliary greed either. So for smaller towns, it's kind of win-win, as long as you shop at home most of the time and look on Des Moines as a tourist destination.

malor said...

I know what you mean. Maybe, it will get better in August? Hopefully!

Murf said...

Big A was turned off of our local farmer's market when a vendor was selling bananas. Our area isn't known to be a big grower of bananas. :-)