Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Public markets and market districts

Cow Something
Photo by Maria Brady.

Last Sunday's Travel Section in the New York Times focused on food. Check out this great piece on markets, "Markets as Both Feast and Spectacle."

Something that always catches me about public markets and market districts is that they can be incredibly diverse places, featuring people of widely varying mix of ethnicities, incomes, races, etc. In DC, Eastern Market is probably one of the only truly diverse places in the city. And the Maine Avenue and Florida Markets are great places for mixing too. I thought of this quite a bit while listening to Richard Sennett about how the future of planning is in managing for contraction and disruption.

Markets like Pike Place, the Strip District, the Portland Saturday Farmers Market, the Greenmarket in Union Square, St. Paul's Farmers Market, the Waverly (32nd Street) Market and Baltimore Farmers Markets in Baltimore, Lexington, Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia are definitely feast and spectacle. Like Mimi Sheraton, I always check out farmers and public markets in the cities I visit.

Speaking of great food deals, we needed ground cumin and while shopping at traditional grocery stores (Harris-Teeter, Giant) it wasn't in stock. I went to Obeng International at Florida Market when I happened to be nearby and I found a six ounce container for $2.99. (They were out of stock on the smaller size.) Then, I was at Giant the next day and they had it in stock again; 0.9 ounces cost $3.19.

Whether it's cow something or something more familiar, chances are good you can find it at Florida Market.

At a very good price.