One of my Facebook friends from Cleveland mentioned shopping at the West Side Market and it brought back some fond memories of this Cleveland institution. It's been a farmer's market on the west side of Cleveland since 1840 and for the last 100 years has been a huge brick landmark near the Cuyahoga River. Every year around election time politicians come to the market to shake hands. Visit the hoi polloi. It's that entrenched.
Here's the website for the market: http://www.westsidemarket.org/about.html
I lived in the same neighborhood as the West Side Market for the last 10 years that I lived in Cleveland. Most Saturday mornings involved buying far too much food there, and then buying an apple fritter and a diet coke. There is a semi-secret observation deck on the second floor where I would sit and watch people milling about and eat the fritter and drink the diet coke.
I don't visit Cleveland much any more, but every time I visit, I make a point of stopping at the West Side Market, usually early in the morning before the crowds arrive. I buy an apple fritter and sit in the secret observation area and think a bit about the trajectory of my life and give thanks for how good it's been, so far.
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, and all this week, this place would be jam-packed with shoppers. Here are some pictures I took in April, 2008, the last time I was in Cleveland. I got there shortly after it opened and before most of the shoppers arrived.
This outside area goes around two sides of the building and is where you buy fruits and vegetables.
I've been outside.
3 hours ago