I can't help it. I love the market. And I can't remember the last time I took my parents there, so they are getting some pictures tonight.
Missoula has three Saturday markets: the Clark Fork Market, the People's Market, and the Downtown Farmer's Market (I actually have no idea what that one is called, but it's downtown. Voila!)
All of the markets are within walking distance from one another. And even though they're all within walking distance of my house, the tandem is the preferred means of travel every Saturday.
It's almost as though the tandem knows exactly what day it is each week. It knows the path to Bernice's Bakery first thing in the morning. The tandem knows it has to be gentle with the traveler mugs of coffee and the frightened passenger sitting behind the Handyman, and it knows the exact way to the markets that encounters the least amount of vehicle traffic.
That tandem is pretty smart. That's why it hasn't been booted from the team yet. (Or is it the other way around? Yes, I believe I realized long ago that I would get booted from the team if I didn't get that tandem beast tamed.) But I digress. I'm at the market. It's Saturday. And I love Saturday-market day.
Today, I met Sarah and Lynda at the market - Sarah is evidenced by the fact that I have Kit strapped to my chest, and soon Lynda will make an appearance as she peruses some colorful fabrics.
There isn't really a favorite part of the market. Bright colors? People? Really great coffee and totally decadent pastries? Turning 360 degress and seeing FOOD in all directions?
I like buying vegetables from people I know. People who live in town. Or near town. I like being able to ask what they do to their peppers to make them grow so well (as I buy some potatoes from them, of course) or how I should cook that steak I bought the handyman because I haven't prepared steak in... oh, I've never prepared steak. Still haven't. I decided it was surprise enough to buy it. No need for a mostly-vegetarian to ruin a perfectly good bison steak. But the nice bison lady had very helpful directions. (The handyman and I know her name, but we insist on calling her the bison lady... cause she sells the bison.)
That's part of the differences among the markets. The Clark Fork Market has electricity so they've got crepes and funnel cakes and lamb and bison and smoked salmon and beef. They've got music and the usual vegetable spread.
The Downtown Market (remember that I don't know it's real name) has most, but not all, of the coffee vendors, lots of flowering plants, and the usual vegetable spread.
Oh yeah, and the Obama supporters who ask me three times a Saturday if I'm registered to vote. I'm working on a plan that involves a sharpie, a white undershirt, and something shocking to say. Don't worry, Mom, I'll be polite. Politely shocking. I'm liberal, but I'm tired of being asked if I'm registered to vote. Seriously, where did the panhandlers go? Can I have them back?
Then there's the People's Market. It's basically everything that's not edible. Candles, jewelry, clothes, ceramics, photography, baskets, tshirts, dog gear, coat hangers, book shelves, wind catchers, dream catchers, and a whole list of stuff that begins to sound pretty random. I dig the handmade stuff, but I'm a little perplexed at things like the sunglasses booth. Or the people reselling stuff that's clearly bought somewhere else (like printed tshirts.)
Today I bought a black and white megabag from Mag.
I'm not sure there's much else to say about the market. I'm usually in and out of there by nine-thirty, but today, sans handyman and tandem, I strolled until I got dehydrated and Lynda and I had a little catnap in front of Adventure Cycling.
Ah.... It feels good to have captured it all in one post. Anyone still there? Hellllooooo? Anyone still reading?