Friday, October 13

Echo Park Farmer's Market

Or as I like to call it...a sign the neighborhood has officially gentrified.
A Potato Stand at the Brand New EP Farmer's Market!
The truth is I could not be happier about this recent development in the 'hood. Really the only thing that's been missing to complete my experience of living in Echo Park is a farmer's market. Today, Friday 13th, was the official grand opening of the market. It'll be every Friday from 3 - 7, which is a great time to go get some freshly prepared tamales for dinner and some fruit and veggies for the weekend.

People Picking Produce
It's not a huge market, not even close to Santa Monica or Hollywood, but they've done a really nice job of getting a variety of vendors. There's several fruit stands, the farmers stands cover a broad spectrum that includes end of season peaches, new oranges, dried fruit and nuts, salads, sprouts, veggies and tomatoes.

Perfect Persimmons and Pomegranates
I got there at exactly three and because it was the first ever farmer's market in this location, a bunch of the stands were still setting up. The arts and crafts booths were some of the first to be open so the first purchase I made was for a set of hand made salad utensils. I was thrilled to finally find something to serve with as I've been making pathetic use out of a rice paddle and spoon.

My New Serving Pieces (and no more alliteration)
There was also some jewelry at the adjacent stand but none of it caught my eye. What did was this one table where a VERY pregnant woman was selling handmade baby t-shirts. They all had patches that were 33 record covers and were really fun. I bought one for Harper Lee Terrell who's about to turn one and lives in the front house.
Crybaby Clothing Stand
The only slightly disappointing thing was the lack of flowers. There was only one stand and their selection was limited and mostly dyed. I decided to make the best of it and picked up some of these purple thistles for some color in the kitchen.

At about 3:30 everyone had their act together and the smells of tamales, chicken and Bar-B-Q started wafting. I spent some time checking out the herb plants for sale and decided that next weekend I'm turning the garden bed that's closest to my front door into a serious herb garden.

Nothing in the world is better than hanging out around stands where the french baker sells his bread, pastries and pasta, and the dairyman sells his homemade and home-milked cheese, and the hippie couple sell sugar juice (isn't that just sugar water?) with a big sign that says it increases energy - duh - and they chop the sugar cane in front of you to make your drink.

The best thing about the market were all the people from the neighborhood wandering around oohing and ahing at how great it was that we finally had our own market. I, myself, couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face. It seemed fitting that the market take place in the parking lot adjacent to the corner where folks often sell churros and fruit. It was even more appropriate that this lady watched over us.

A Mural on the side of the building next to the market
It rained a little, and the vendors grew concerned, but when I left an hour later the place was rocking. People were eating dinner and buying all sorts of things. It would appear that not even rain or the fact that it's Friday the 13th could keep people away.

Mel couldn't come with me. No dogs allowed. This is the sad face that she made when I told her she'd have to stay home alone.

The saddest dog in the world
I'm sure we'll make it up to her. If only they sold bones at the market...

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