Monday, July 5, 2010
Pleasantville Farmer's Market
I wander about, camera in hand. There are other photographers like me, some with serious gear. A video interview is being conducted at the fish store, and the owner offers a primer on discerning quality. Passing dogs, tethered to leashes, measure one another. Children frisk around chomping vegetables, people with big sunglasses perched on their heads stand in line patiently waiting for their turn to buy. We come across a few people we know and exchange pleasantries. I stop to pick up some meat. I have a beard and am often mistaken for a middle-easterner. As the farmer handed me a packet of pork sausages, he asks me if I am Muslim. “Take a wild guess”, I reply.
And what interesting people man the stalls. The British farmer from whom we often buy our meats was a one-time elephant trainer who spent time in Mysore. The bread store is run by Tibetans from Dharamsala. A Calcutta Kitchens booth run by an American and a Bengali lady with an MBA from IIM Kolkata. When the morning sun is yet mild and there are blue skies beyond the train station, sandal clad localites descend upon the market Starbucks in hand, and little children and barefoot babies in their summer dresses swing at the air in close fists from their prams. A peaceful outcome distills out of the din and turmoil of the bazaar--as if time has stood still, if only for a a few minutes. In rhythm to the ticking parking meters in downtown, the crowd gelates together in a celebration of fresh food, in a happy timeout from Westchester’s characteristic edginess.