Friday, June 21, 2013

Charlottesville City Market, Then and Now

I moved to Charlottesville in 1979 and the City Market was already in operation.  I started going to the market in the mid 80’s when it was relatively small compared to its current size. The two tiers of upper parking were filled during the beginning of the growing season, but cooler days early and late in the season would sometimes have fewer vendors.  The picture below comes from one of those times.

The apparent model behind the cardboard background and the rolling lawn chair was that it was a “ride.” Kids that decided to take the ride got wheeled around in the cardboard “thing” with the bearded fellow pushing the cart. All the other parties contributed noises by hitting items they had or making some creative vocal sound effects. No, I can't explain this event. 

The current City Market is really packed with vendors, and they spread over the road below the block now. We were looking for wildflowers (or just flowers without pedigree).  There were plenty, and we walked out with a bougainvillea in a hanging pot.  As far as food goes, you can get it to eat there, or bring it home.

This year brought more food stands (at least at this point in the season) and most were selling locally grown produce. 

 One of the stands we were looking for was selling early season flowers. We got enough for a small vase on our porch, and a Bougainvillea already planted in a pot with a hanger. That went on the front porch. I noticed that the sellers had someone in the back putting together flowers, as they were going like hotcakes (pictured below).

Another long term vendor at the City Market is C. L. Morton, who is a specialist in growing Dahlias.