Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Perfect Place in LA

The Farmers Market in LA

As an architect I tend to think that all good places have to begin with a grand plan. So it is painfully hard to accept perfectly wonderful places that just sort of happen.

These are the places where somehow a seed gets sown and with time they mature and become....dare I say it; perfect?

The Farmers Market in LA is one of those perfect places. After evolving for three quarters of a century it is now a delightful jumble of a place. In car crazy LA, this is one of its best pedestrian places imaginable. You can stroll, buy fresh meat / produce, eat foods from every corner of the world, people watch, and just laze about.

The Farmers Market Sign
An LA Icon

Like everything in LA, the Farmers Market is "World Famous". Indeed, its tower sign is truly a landmark. And the pies at DuPar's? Well they are icons as well and they are available 24 hours a day. DuPar's pies run the gamut from conventional "Mom comfort food" to mountains of meringue and apple pies with volcano shaped crusts.

Seating Can be Under Tents or Trees
The LIne is Blurred Between Indoors and Outdoors

Forget Foo Foo Ice Cream Flavors
Here is the Place for Great Chocolate Malt Ice Cream

There are few comparable places in the US. The Pike Place Market in Seattle comes to mind. It is even a bit hard to figure our how to get into the Farmers Market as it is surrounded by a gentle fortress of white clapboard walls and shops.

Every Turn Brings Something New

But once inside the sights, smells, and colors make for a perfect place. It is fun to walk and people watch.

Meat, Produce, Nuts, Everyday or Gourmet

Anyone that comes here will find something they want to eat. Food choices run from alligator tail to vegan.

Every Stall is a Show Kitchen

It could never be replicated as it now stands in complete defiance to every convention of modern building codes.

Perfect Location

Sort of ironically The Farmers Market now anchors the west end of The Grove a glitzy new shopping and dining venue that is everything the Farmer's Market is not.

The Grove
Uber Hip Lifestyle Mall

The Market is chaos, The Grove is Stepford perfect. The Market is compact, The Grove is blocks long.

A Place of Manufactured Icons

The Market has little shops and stalls, The Grove has huge shops and restaurants. The Market has a couple of small parking lots, The Grove has a huge multi-story parking deck.

Painfully Perfect "People Places"

The two venues actually balance each other out and add a degree of critical mass that seem to make each better.

If you are a Los Angelino pick a night and go. If you are a tourist, don't miss it.

Come On There's Pie!

An did I mention, there is wonderful pie waiting for you 24 hours a day?

I mean really, what injury in our hectic daily lives can't be repaired at least a little bit by a prescription that includes a slice of pie and and a cup of steaming coffee?

Roadboy's Travel's © 2009

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