Monday, October 27, 2014

Findlay Market

 It was a beautiful, sunny day in Cincinnati, totally out of character for so late in the year. It was nearly 70° when Tom parked his Prius and we walked a short distance towards Cincinnati's Findlay Market. People were eating outside, shopping as they'd do on a pleasant summer's day, and without the extreme heat and humidity of a month or two earlier.

 Findlay Market is called "Ohio's oldest continuously operated public market". Check out their web page by clicking here.

The Market is centered between I-75 to the west and I-71 to the east. It's bounded by Race Street (east), Findlay Street (north), Elm Street (west) and Liberty Street (south). It's actually sandwiched by Elder Street but perhaps more easily imagined by being within blocks of Cincinnati's famous "Over-the-Rhine" neighborhood.

 Just inside the south door, I was astounded by the crowds of people on this early Sunday afternoon. Getting from one end to the other, you're jostled by a continuous stream of humanity, moving molasses-like, taking in the sights and aromas (food is the main reason for going), keeping an eye peeled on each glass case. No one wants to miss a thing.

 J.E. Gibbs Cheese

 What lovely cheeses they have in these cases. I'd love to try each one. Next time.

 And the homemade breads in this case took my breath away. I didn't see prices so I backed away. "If you have to ask the price," said Tom, "you can't afford it." I believe he is right. But some day I will splurge and buy one of those crusty loaves and just sit in a corner at Pinehaven and nibble on a chunk torn from some wholesome loaf. I may even add that cheese I'm promising myself.

 This merchant was making waffles right on the spot. The delicious, sweet smell drifted into the aisle and caught me by the nose, made me turn around and smile.

Frank's Fish & Seafood Market 2

Being vegetarian, I didn't spend much time looking at the many cases filled with meats but I could certainly appreciate the wonderful displays and merchandising. My father, a life-long butcher by trade (before, he too, became a vegetarian), would have stopped and talked with these folks, comparing secrets.

 I stood and drooled at this glass cake for a minute. What is Kataifi? It looked to me like some sort of exquisite variety of shredded wheat and I find that this is a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in a sweet, sugary syrup. It's from the Ottoman Empire and it is wrapped in shredded wheat. I'd love to taste it; someday I will.

 As we arrived at the opposite end of Findlay Market, we found some space to stand without being jostled about. The architecture of the ceiling is quite unusual.

 Outside, at the Open Market, vegetable vendors had tables lining the street, I bought a box of ripe, red tomatoes from this guy: $3 for the lot. They seem to be "Better Boys", the cluster-type tomato we grow in our own garden. Of course our crop is finished for the year and we miss it already. These tomatoes, it turns out, were not grown locally but in Mexico.

 Under an awning, another vegetable vendor has his wares set on tabletops supported with sawhorses. I suppose these businesses come and go with the weather and are seasonal in nature.

 Aren't these bunches of asparagus perfect? And with purple rubber bands to compliment the lavender shade that the tops of asparagus usually exhibit.

 On Elder Street, people mill about. There is plenty of room here for many more businesses.I suppose in the late spring and early summer, this area is much busier as the various crops begin to come in. We were at the very end of the season.

 Here's an area just outside of the Findlay Market building where diners can enjoy an alcoholic refreshment outdoors.

  I love the architecture of the buildings in this area of Cincinnati, especially the colors. Most were in decent shape; a few were being renovated.

 This young man was playing a mean red fiddle. People tossed coins and money into the violin case at his feet. Nearly, another boy, played a keyboard.

 The total of my purchases while at Findlay Market were the tomatoes and two candles made of beeswax (*) molded into the shape of pine cones. I gave them to Mom. This is the booth where a lady sold bee-related products: honey, t-shirts, beeswax. One t-shirt said: Give Bees a Chance. Another said: God Save the Queen.

 Finally, Tom and I stopped in this shop which sold wine and beer, looking for a Cincinnati microbrew I wanted to buy. We didn't find it but a wine-tasting was underway and most of the people milling about carried a small glass of wine.
 So, a nice afternoon in downtown Cincinnati, and a spot I'm sure we'll return to next summer.
 Maybe before?

(*) Later: You asked to see the beeswax candles. Here they are:

 We already owned the two larger candles in the back. The beeswax candles I just bought are the two smaller ones  in the front. I liked their yellowish color, a nice contrast to the older ones. Mom put them on our fireplace mantle.

1 comment:

  1. Findley market - looks like a fun place - I want to see the beeswax pinecone candles! Cinci is a great city!