The Suitcase Lady


May 8, 2007, 9:15 pm

A big, bustling Farmers’ Market is a wonderful place to be. That’s why my husband and I headed to the Eastern Market, a historic 1873 landmark, when visiting Washington D.C. last weekend.

I became a market aficionado at an early age. As a child, I roller skated the short distance from my house to the huge West Allis Farmers’ Market. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, were market days and no sales could begin until the market bell rang promptly at 2:00 PM. Then the whole scene burst into a colorful flurry of activity.

I’ve traded in my roller skates, but visiting markets remains a dependable pleasure. The Dane County Farmers’ Market around our state capitol, the Pike Place Market in Seattle, the Farmers’ Market in Los Angeles, the “other” Eastern Market in Detroit, the Lexington Market in Baltimore and the Georgia State Farmers’ Market outside Atlanta… I love them all.

So it came as a shock when I picked up the New York Times this week and spotted the headline, “Lamenting the Loss of a Historic Washington Market”.

Two days after our D.C. visit, the Eastern Market building was gutted by a three-alarm blaze. The Capitol Hill community had lost their beloved landmark.

Fortunately, a market is far more than the building that houses it. Six days after the fire, the farmers, artists, craftspeople and flea market vendors will set up on the sidewalks and playground lots under the charred walls. And the 44th Annual Market Day Festival will be celebrated on Sunday. You can’t keep a good market down.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Alyce

    Have you seen the newly remodeled
    West Allis Farmer’s Market? If not, come and visit it. It’s still open Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday. The hours are now 1-5PM.
    The old neighborhood is really changing.