One of my favorite spots in Los Angeles is Farmers Market, located in the Fairfax District.
In July 1934, during the height of the Great Depression, a group of farmers set up some stands at Third and Fairfax. It quickly caught on as a cheap (and unique) place to get something to eat with the Hollywood crowd, and the rest - as they say - is history. Here's a link to more about the history.
California produce: what is today so common in super markets across the country (and the world) was really unique back in the 1930's. My mom, who was born just a few years after Farmers Market first opened, use to look forward to getting one orange around Christmas. It's not that they were poor, it's just that fresh fruit in the middle of winter was really unique. As a Christian, I'm reminded of the words of King David "You [God] crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance" Psalm 65:11.
More fruits and vegtables. My grandfather - who was from the Midwest and didn't move to California until he retired in the 1970's - used to take me to Farmers Market all the time. I think he like the fact the historic feel and vibe.
I've jokingly called Farmers Market "Olvera Street for White People" - please don't take this in the wrong way. I'm just comparing it to Olvera Street, which opened in 1930 (here's a link to a previous blogpost on the history of Olvera Street). Farmers Market opened four years later.
One of my favorite spots in all of Los Angeles is this little outdoor court yard - even better when the noon lunch crowd shows up.
Like this. Going through some of my grandmothers' old photos, I found this from the summer of 1967. The year before my family and I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago, my grandparents drove out just to "see the sights" (as they would say) and visit relatives. In a town that's constantly changing, I love the fact that this little courtyard looks pretty much the same.
Found this on-line somewhere. Just an old photo of Farmers Market back in the day.
While there are several fruit and vegetable stands, and speciality stores selling nuts and candy, there are also numerous food stands. Loteria grill has Mexican food.
My wife and I really enjoy the little French Crepe stand.
We discovered it back in 2002, when our family was Los Angeles for six week work related trip, and we try to make it back here every time we're in the area.
These gas meters overhead.
A group of ladies having breakfast with the five gas meters right over their heads. This is what gives Farmers Market it's funky charm.
Ice Cream Stand: "We've Been Here Since 1963!!! Where Were You?" (I was living in Chicago!). Most of the rest of you reading this blog weren't even born.
Deano's Gourmet Pizza. Above, a photo of the owner with Frank (Sinatra) and other celebraties.
Walking around, you'll see numerous photos of what it was like in the early years.
A recreation of the Gilmore Gas Station at was once here on the property.
Much of this area was oil fields. More on that in a future post.
In 2002, The Grove outdoor shopping mall (maul) opened up immediately adjacent to Farmers Market. The Grove is "OK" - it's a little fake for me, but it's hugely popular and the increased foot traffic has really helped introduce a whole new generation to Farmers Market. In that sense, it's a win/win. Here's a link to a previous blog post, with some additional thoughts - and night time photos.
Kips Toys at Farmers Market. A huge FAO Shwartz opened up a hundred yards from here as part of the massive "Grove" development. I figured that Kips Toys (above) would never survive. But guess what? FAO Shwartz is out (it's now an American Girl store). Little Kips Toys: still going strong.
One of the four hundred fiberglass angels that were around Los Angeles in 2000. Here's a link to a previous blog post on these statues. I've got a photo of my son when he was 2 1/2 next to this angel. If I find it, I'll scan it and post it.
A final view of the clocktower. A great taste - and experience - of L.A.
Here's a link to their website. Enjoy.
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