Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simplicity at the Ridley Road Market

Everybody knows Saturdays are for Farmer's Markets. How many farmer's markets do you think there are in London? I wonder how long it would take me to make my way through all of them. So far, I keep it pretty close to home and I love that I can basically trip and accidentally land in Ridley Road Farmer's Market. It's been there since the 1880's. I can't even imagine what this neighborhood was like in Victorian England.

There's something very simple about this one that I love. It's not bourge-ie (ps, HOW do you spell the slang form of bourgeoisie? It's like when you try to spell the shortened form of usual-- us? uje? uze? Sigh.) In fact, one odd girl on yelp likened it to the third world. I don't know about that. Though the place is pretty stripped down, has the ripest fruit, the RIPEST fish, and the various and sundry household products that are just a blink away from their expiration date.

But there's also two bushels of greenish (just how I like 'em) bananas for a pound and an old man who sells nothing but fresh organic eggs. That's. It. (I told you they effing love their specialties here. Or as they say, spe-shee-al-i-ties.) There's a stand trying to help bridge the gap and make sure the new immigrants are registered properly for NHS. (Why they can't help me with retrieving my own NHS number, I don't know, but cest la vie, I suppose.) While she could not help me with that, she did go out of her way to tell me she liked my shoes. And nothing will break down my hardened exterior defenses of city living that makes me ignore all street people like a good shoe question. I'll tell you the store, the model name, the price. Hell, I'll probably walk you there.

If you're in Dalston, you come on by the Ridley Road market. I'm thinking of setting up a booth myself like Lucy from the Peanuts and dispensing advice and jokes.

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