The Hippies Win One

Put your political leanings aside for a moment and just admit it. The Left throws a much better farmer’s market. Country clubs, nautical events of all sorts I’ll do my best to fit in with Glenn Beck and Co. But let’s be honest and admit the hippies have won the Farmer’s Market – this is their arena and they simply win.

A Farmer’s Market is to the interested traveler what Toys “R” Us is to kids. It is a place full of all kinds of wondrous things. A true looking glass – you peer in and see an entire community and its people. In a short amount of time you are hit with an impression and get a real sense of the people, the food, the music, the clothes, the sights, the smells – and they all tell you something about where you are.

These portable parks of goodness are a great way to stroll around on a weekend and get a look at the place you are visiting. In Buenos Aires the markets consume a park. Hundreds and hundreds will lie in the grass, sipping mate or Quilmes, listening to booming rock and reggae beats while vendors sell snacks and trinkets for the interested eye. In small towns of Germany the markets are quite and simple. Stands display hats, jewelry, and other upscale items. In San Francisco, the Mission district throws its market with a distinct, south of the border flare. Noisy ranchero music, packed streets sizzling with the smells of jalapenos, pork meat and corn tortillas, and the possibility of finding anything you would ever want to buy from someone you would never want to buy it from. An Ipad, a laptop, and a cellphone charger from a guy who is inexplicably missing his right shoe while sitting on a cardboard box? Don’t do it.

It might seem strange to pull politics into a little thing like a farmer’s market but somehow I bet the entire Fox News mob have a not so nice view of these simple exhibitions of hippy euphoria. One place that throws a Obamatastic market is none other than Oakland, California. Here – in one of the finest displays of a farmer’s market – you see what the people of this area are all about. As soon as you walk up it all hits you in waves, all sorts of food simmers in the distance. A simple electric guitar is strummed from somewhere in the back. The vendors are selling simple, organic, healthy, produce and right behind you a vegan is smiling. $9 will get you a full plate of your choosing and you can pick anything from Dim Sum to French pastries. I was relieved to find they do serve meat.

The people here are doing and wearing whatever they feel like – laying in the grass, playing chess on top of a bucket, dancing for themselves, with biking outfits, jogging suits, and a sea of sweatpants making there way through the market. Somehow it is all strange and yet somehow it all makes sense. The sun is shining. People are enjoying their morning and everything is just, really nice. As you make your way through the market booths, you receive warm smiles and plenty of generous samples. Even if you did show up to the market – hoping to unload a snarky, Gingrich sized hairball of hatred – you just can’t do it. Everyone is too nice.

I guess when it comes down to it everyone might be happier if this was how more days were spent.


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