Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday late afternoon farmers market, Eastern Market, DC

Eastern Market "Fresh Tuesdays" afternoon market, first day, Amish
The primary reason that I favor Eastern Market "splitting off" from the city government, and being managed and operated through a separate nonprofit organization is that as a city "agency" it's not very responsive to the "market", as well as having a big problem in that it is run according to "legislation" that can make "being flexible" almost impossible.  (Others disagree, see "Eastern Market vendors wary of proposed governing board" from the Examiner.)

Given how voracious the competition that Eastern Market faces, from new supermarkets to new and other farmers markets ( see "A Fresh Look Back" from the Express) and flea markets around the city and county (see "Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring seeing increase in patrons this season" from the Gazette), an inability to be innovative and customer focused is a kiss of death.
Dupont Circle flea market promotional postcard
An example of flea markets popping up all over, and taking market and mind share away from Eastern Market as the region's #1 destination for food, arts, and crafts.

Eastern Market "Fresh Tuesdays" afternoon market, first day, branded shopping bagFor example, when I joined the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee in January 2007, I think we were talking about the possibility of having an additional weekday market of some sort, as a measure to increase activation and to offer a different set of options.

A couple weeks ago--more than 5 years after those earlier discussions (which were not the first)--a Tuesday market, running from 3pm to 7pm, was added to the schedule.

I have to say I bought an awesome cantaloupe from an Amish farmstand that day.

Check it out today or on a forthcoming Tuesday.

Eastern Market "Fresh Tuesdays" afternoon market, first day

Eastern Market "Fresh Tuesdays" afternoon market, first day, peaches

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