The Original Farmers’ Market at Third and Fairfax celebrates 75 years of business. In response to their call for recollections of this historic culinary landmark, I submit this memory.
Love letter to the Farmers Market
Ten years ago, I moved to Los Angeles after a lifetime of residency in small towns across Massachusetts. Though I had uprooted myself several times to live in different towns within my hometown state, the cross-country move was, by far, the grandest uprooting of my life.
In Los Angeles, when I wasn’t in class studying screenwriting, I would travel 3rd Street in my little Volkswagon, in hopes of collecting a mental database of familiar landmarks. I was often lost within the sprawling landscape of LA’s streets, with the Atlantic Ocean as a forsaken compass point. I went west when I thought I was traveling east. I followed Wilshire for hours, searching for its end. One of the first markers of my new city was the Original Farmers’ Market on the corner of Third and Fairfax. Though I knew nothing about the history of the farmers’ market, the buildings proved to me that LA was once a simple village, that shared traditions like the one I came from.
I’d park my car in the sprawling lot speckled with sports cars and tour busses and meander through the market. I marveled at the shelves always lined with precise piles of fruits and vegetables–a site I had only seen during the summer months of Massachusetts. I admired the impracticality of laminated photos of dead movie stars and Hollywood street signs as souvenirs. I was soothed by the white clock tower as it marked the passing of time. The friendly French man behind the cheese counter and the smiling butcher that offered to help find the best deal surprised me with their kindness. The Farmers’ market, regardless of whether or not I stopped by, gave me a sense of calm.
Looking back now, it is no wonder that I chose to live just one block from the Original Farmers’ Market. The neighborhood is my own little village where I can walk to shops, enjoy the park, and eat out at my favorite restaurants. I am a regular, a local, a fixture at the market.
After many years of feeling lost, I have finally found a home in this big city, thanks in part to the Original Farmers Market.