November 21, 2004

farmer's market on a Sunday

Late morning, pulling my car into the nearly full parking lot. Everyone heading to the Sunday morning Hollywood farmer's market?

Apparently yes. The market is full, people everywhere, weaving in between strollers and carts and kids and people with clipboards hawking free movie previews (welcome to LA, land of the rough cut) and asking for contributions to the ACLU, people with shopping carts, laden down with bags, people carrying huge pumpkins and armfuls of vegetables.

Welcome to the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The market ripe with palm-sized Fuyu persimmons, squat white winter squash with pale orange stripes, Fuji apples and bacon avocados. The buffalo meat lady is here, so is the Gouda guy and the goat cheese lady ("Goat cheese, yummy yummy goat cheese!"). So are the musicians: the atonal ancient Japanese muppet hunched over his guitar, the small lively jazz ensemble with the white-haired drummer sliding his brush over the snare drum, swish-boom. So are the flower merchants, selling the bright orange spikes of bird-of-paradise, the bouquets of sunflowers and tiny rosebuds, the sachets of lavender out on a table with the massive Rasta-haired lavender vendor singing his "Smell so good! Come and smell the lavender!" chant.

I love this market. I love the sweet bite of persimmon, I love the tart winter raspberry, I love the date sellers and the avocado lady (no avocados this week, she says, but next week the buttery Fuertes are back) (and her dark hair is now streaked and lush) and the tender hydroponic lettuce, sold by the tiny Japanese lady who has watched Damian grow from infant to toddler to long-legged child, who encouraged me to eat her (amazingly tender) Japanese spinach when I was pregnant and then nursing him.

I love this market, the rush of people, dark hair, light hair, pale skin, olive skin and earth-toned skin alike, the mess of it, people stopping along the way to say hi to friends, people talking and smiling and exclaiming, every single one, about how cold it is today, brr, even the little dog in the red wagon is shivering. (How cold? I check later in my car: 56 degrees. Mmm-hmm. Winter weather for Los Angeles.) Shivering and smiling, everyone, as I walk back to the car, I smile too, my sweatshirt zipped all the way up and my shopping cart filled with tiny sweet grapes and crisp Asian pears and blue-green feathery Russian kale and a five pound bag of yams for Thanksgiving dinner. Food for the week, food for my soul.

Posted by Tamar at November 21, 2004 01:52 PM

I enjoyed this post very much! Thanks!

Posted by: Jen at November 21, 2004 04:47 PM

That sounds wonderful. I wish we had more markets like that in my area.

Posted by: Heather at November 22, 2004 06:26 PM