05 July 2010

To Market, To Market

"Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by someone I do not know." —John Keats

My tiny flat is filled to the rafters with books, and always has a couple of bottles of wine stored in its postage stamp of a kitchen. Although I could do nothing about the weather (New York is in the middle of a heat wave), I knew one place where I could find fruit and music on this holiday Monday. So I ventured out into the blistering sun and headed for the Union Square Greenmarket, where farmers from all over the state (and New Jersey) set up stalls to sell their produce. At the first stall, I was greeted by a beautiful display of cherries of all sorts—Bing, Ranier, and even sour ones, which I discovered are bright red.

At the end of one table, a wooden crate held a multitude of tiny red and yellow plums.

At another stall, small tubs of glorious peaches filled the air with their sweetness, beckoning for someone to pick them up.

Produce is not the only thing for sell at the market. You can also find breads, jams and honeys, fresh eggs, cheeses, and beautiful flowers, like these glorious sunflowers.

Having purchased an enormous amount of cherries and some golden peaches, I looked around for some musicians but none were to be found, probably because of the oppressive heat. So I cranked up some Cab Calloway on my iPod as I headed up 18th Street and stopped off at Books of Wonder, an incredible children's bookstore, which had this very intriguing window display built by Cynthia von Buhler to promote her new book But Who Will Bell the Cats? (it includes sets that appear in the book.) I must confess, I can never ignore a bookstore. The pull of all the vast possibilities that lie within are too great. Besides, I like to support the few local booksellers who are still in the city. Which is why I left the store with a reissued copy of the original 1930 edition of The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the Nancy Drew series.

Before they were rewritten and condensed in 1959, Nancy had a blonde bob and drove a blue roadster, and exhibited all the fearlessness of a baby flapper. I'm looking forward to revisiting this book from my childhood while enjoying the other spoils of the day.

Photos by Michele.

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