Saturday, June 6, 2009
A New York Treasure- 14th Street Farmer's Market
Despite the very strange weather that we’ve been having, the gardening season is officially here. A couple of weeks ago on Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I braved the Brooklyn Terminal market (and its pushy patrons) on a sunny and bright Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful that weekend. The kind of weather you expect in NY during the late spring. We were laser as we focused in on what we needed to fill our window boxes and planters.
We finally gathered all we needed and loaded up my little Prius with flats of flowers galore. You see, the terminal market is great for your basics and your fillers, petunia, impatients, marigolds, hibiscus, dahlias, evergreens etc. However, my plan had always been to get to the Union Square Market to scout the exotic and heirloom selections that they always have. But we've had so much rain, that I couldn't get to 14th Street until today. I admit it, I am a fair weather gardener and I make no bones about it.
Today the sun came out and so I finally made my way to that most hip happening in NY, Union Square a.k.a. the 14th Street Farmers Market. Being there is a festival for the senses, as all of your senses are engaged on a major level. I was so inspired that I pulled out my iPhone and started acting like I was a photojournalist. I noticed I wasn’t the only one that impressed. Other photographers there had “real” cameras and were taking it all in. It gave me one of those rare thoughts of “this is why New York is so great”.
Normally when I go to the Farmers Market, I try to get there early, around 8:00 or at the latest 9:00. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with the throngs of people. I arrived late today, around 11:00 so when I jokingly complained to the guy snatching up all the best roses, he politely said to me, “It's the early bird”… Still, I’m impressed with the photos I took because I managed to take these images without showing the hundreds of folks who were out there. When I say hundreds, I’m not exaggerating.
There all kinds of folks out there, like the preppie looking peeps who you imagined must have driven down from Connecticut or the Upper East Side, or the brother with two strand twist extensions (I would notice that) or the old guy who looked like he didn’t have a dime, but bought up all the best rose bushes, before I could even bat an eye. There were couples with babies in strollers, many dog owners with their pooches, and some folk who looked as though they lived right around the corner. I’ve heard that some of the best restaurants in NY, shop for their produce at the 14th Street Farmers Market, and it’s no wonder. Everything looks so fresh and vibrant. The colors don’t seem real; they’re so bright and amazing. But then again, who else but Mother Nature could create such color and abundance?
There were vendors selling everything from rare flowers and herbs, to exotic goat cheeses, organic wool, free range poultry, fresh fish, fresh bake breads, preserves, mushrooms and on and on. Then on the other side of the park are artist with their paintings and other hand made works, like Himalayan Crystal salt candle holders, vintage repros, hand painted tees etc. But one thing that stood out for me was an Obama tee shirt that had the look of “The Matrix” in the background with Obama in the foreground and a caption that read, “He’s the One”. New York, you don’t have to love it, but I must admit that some of what NY offers, will make even a “down on New York critic”, like myself appreciate NY, seeing it from perspective of the fabulous 14th Street Farmers Market.
Check it out!
14th Street Farmers Market