Saturday, May 27, 2006

Spring Shopping in the Market

Most of my food shopping takes place on Saturday morning in Saint John's Old City Market, a historic landmark that attracts tourists and locals alike. One of the pitfalls (and economic advantages, I know) to living in an historic district is that you're part of the scenery- one of the locals living their life in this heap of lovely Victorian architecture. True. But it makes it hard to get to the green peppers when the recreational shoppers are daydreaming around.

The weather is getting warmer, and I knew this would happen soon. It happens on holidays (i.e. Mother's Day) throughout the year, but the first nice non-special weekend when you notice visitors strolling around is a sign of advanced spring. Locals who don't live in the Uptown discover a calling to wander the market around on a nice Saturday morning, reminiscing nostalgically about when they were living the single life Uptown. I don't blame them, I would too if I moved to another neighbourhood. Later on, in about a month, the come-from-away tourists will be wandering the market in their noticeable clothes and accents asking for smoked salmon and staring at dulse.

I like watching for signs of the changing social seasons. And while some locals gripe about the influx and make themselves scarce, I obtusely feel the need to plop myself in the middle. I feel like there ought to be locals balancing out the tourists, or we'll really just be a snuffbox of a tourist trap. That's fine for places like King's Landing which really is a musuem, but if Uptown Saint John becomes a museum, well then we're done for. Also, I kind of like to watch them watching us.

So today I waited patiently while people took forever to wander out of the way, while they ogled the stuffed moosehead above the bananas, and queued in the Java Moose lineup in front of the oranges, and ran after children running to smash their hands against the plexiglass in front of the squid, and took up all the space gawking at the pastries while I waited to buy croissants.

I did come home with my salmon, cheddar, eggplants, and everything else I wanted. I didn't take an hour to read the paper over coffee bc. I couldn't stand the lineups. But I did enjoy the hubbub and it made me pleased that picking out celery in the market was so much more interesting than in one of the regular warehouse grocery stores.

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