Most transplants incorrectly assume (as usual) that our local farmer's markets are merely beacons of trendy upscale neighborhoods, but in reality they are part of a local tradition (yes, we actually do have traditions here, thank you) that harkens back to this City's agricultural heritage, when the only things sprawling were the orchards, the groves and the vineyards that once flourished across the Southland. After all, a famous local attraction consists of one such marketplace, in permanent form.
But the weekly farmers markets in our various communities create an energy that turns even the most mundane parking lots into valuable public spaces. The Militant recently stumbled upon one such event in Highland Park, called the Old L.A. Farmer's Market, which reference's Highland Parks as the City's first designated community (annexed in 1895) located outside of the Downtown area. Every Tuesday from 3 - 8 p.m., right in front of the (M) Gold Line Highland Park station (the mere sight of the marketplace alone made the Militant spontaneously get off the train just to check it out) , vendors sell fresh, mostly-organic produce, small antiques, used books and food, while street performers sing, play or dance.
It's even a family-friendly environment, as child-sized seats are brought out in the dining area. Locals sit at a table and engage in neighborhood gossip, as a trio of young women play Mexican folk songs (pictured right) while a Gold Line train darts in the background. Neighborhood folks push strollers, pull leashes and, especially in these warm summer evenings - just hang.
The Militant got to check out this nice little spot a few weeks ago, hanging out with one of his siblings, who may or may not live nearby, and just basked in the simple beauty of it all as the summer sun still lingered in the sky, seemingly longer than it had to. A vendor sold big-ass tamales for about $3 each and the Militant went for it. What a great spot for a farmer's market! And what a place to be.
And hey, would you look at that, it's Tuesday today...maybe you too can hop on the Gold Line and find something new in Old L.A.
The Old L.A. Certified Farmers Market is on every Tuesday from 3 - 8 p.m. along Avenue 58 and Marmion Way, next to the (M) Gold Line Highland Park Station. The Militant may or may not be there today - but you oughtta be!