I was at the Farmers Market this past Saturday. I parked my car in the lot next to Dupars and ran across the street to Trader Joes so that I could stock up on some groceries. After loading them into the back of the car, I ran into the Market to pick up some fruit and vegetables. Farm Boy Produce has the best colossal Brussel Sprouts, which I love to have my wife cook. The Market was noticeably less crowded. After getting my stuff, I walked through the Market, jumped into my car, and headed home. I knew things were about to change. The idea that Los Angeles was going to shut down a portion of the city by closing restaurants and bars was in the air. The reality of it when it happens doesn't sink in when you are working and eating from home. It hit me, though, when I ventured over to The Farmers Market this past Wednesday afternoon. I took a break from work, hopped on my bike for a little exercise and road over to the Market. The Market is still open, but the tables and chairs have been removed. What would have been a bustling afternoon of tourists and Angelinos is now a ghost town.
The Original Farmers Market is a second home to me. My wife (then girlfriend) took me there to have breakfast at Kokomos back in 1992. I've been enamored with the place ever since. It was around that time in the early 90s that Stephane Strouk visited the Market during a vacation from his native France. He loved the place so much that he came back and opened up The French Crepe Company, which evolved into other businesses at The Farmers Market for him and his wife.
I've spent many years at the Market, eating and shopping and raising my kids there. It's an exciting place to be, especially during the holidays. My ritual before Thanksgiving is to pick up a turkey breast and a whole duck at Farmers Market Poultry and then a chipotle raspberry sauce (which I use to glaze the duck with) at Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market. During Christmas, I love spending Christmas Eve at the Market in the late afternoon. It's a tradition to pick up some pies at Du-pars. I also enjoy bringing my daughter to Bennett's or Local Ice for some ice cream, which I post about on my ice cream Instagram page. My son used to love getting Chinese food at Peking Kitchen for dinner after baseball practice, but he has since moved on to the fried chicken at Fritzi Coop.
For this past New Year's Eve, I dropped into Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market and bought a bunch of food from around the world and celebrated 2020 with my family. Little did I know that our lives would change forever in less than three months. However, that got me thinking about what all of us are experiencing now. Since The Farmers Market has been around since 1934, its customers like me probably had similar feelings of loss and anxiety about the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, and World War II. But, as bad as things may be, our lives goes on. Americans always find a way to rise to the occasion and get through crises. That's how all of us, got through September 11. Ultimately, we will get through the Coronavirus, and The Original Farmers Market will continue to be there for us and for generations to come.
The Original Farmers Market remains open for take-out and delivery service, and its grocery and several retail locations remain open and are here to serve the community. The Market's bars are closed. For shoppers who prefer to stay home, they can get a variety of groceries and prepared meals delivered through mercato.com and other delivery platforms. Visit farmersmarketla.com/delivery for details. The Market's current hours are as follows: Monday thru Saturday: 9 AM to 6 PM and on Sundays from 10 AM to 6 PM.