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Local Treks

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Can't Get Enough

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Sunflowers; organic vegetables; Amish baked goodness; used books; chocolate dipped onions, potato chips, strawberries; oven mitts; walls of honey bears; apple cider; spices; brisket; gourmet sandwiches; baklava; pretzels (of course); live lobsters; live crabs; baskets; creamware cow-pitchers; cheeses; chickens; every cut of meat imaginable; tablecloths; wreaths; baguettes; crafts…

All of this in stall after stall at downtown Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market; plus a weekend lunchtime crowd that has every one of the numerous tables filled. Somewhere in the back, there's a beer garden. 

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I hate going to the mall - something about the lighting, the you-could-be-anywhere-air, and the .really. .energetic. .smiles. that you get sometimes.  I love a good, busy market.  They're what malls aspire to.  They're what malls could be in about 100 years, given a good smack to the head and a backhoe.  Reading Terminal Market is still a thriving market, and, being close neighbors with the Hard Rock Cafe and other Market Street venues and hotels, it has aspirations.  It's great for people-watching.  It's great for groceries. There is, apparently, catering available. It wants to be big.  It remembers its roots.  The vendors still stand behind these narrow counters, often leaning over the stands to wave or shout to someone.  You can see them on their lunchbreaks sitting down to give their feet a break.  And they're happy to make small talk - even with a toddler buying her first thing ever (a bearful of honey), with her dad's money.

There are farmers' markets throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs.  Some are pretty big, and permanent - like the one in Strafford, PA.  Some are roadside stalls that appear each Saturday morning in various neighborhoods until freezing temperatures drive the foot traffic away.  The granddaddy of them all is Reading Terminal.

*By the way, if you're driving, there's discount parking for Market customers on Arch street.  BUT the entrance to the discount parking tower is rather delicately camouflaged by a small, ground-level parking lot that is most definitely NOT discounted.

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Posted in All Ages : Americas : Infant : Toddler : Young Child by Fran W. at 2:07 PMPermalink

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