City Walks – New/Old Market


Re-Make Re-Model

There’s a spot in my city where there’s been a market for about 150 years, although the building itself has been burned, torn down, and rebuilt in different ways during that time.

It recently underwent a major rebuild, and like you always see in urban projects, there was debate between backers of the old and new. What to do when the past is literally unsustainable, and you’re confronted with leaking roofs and failing wiring? It’s something that gets debated over and over all over, in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia….

I think this particular new/old market is a decent approach, although the final test is when people vote with their feet.


The new exterior actually looks less modern than the previous one, which was very much in the 1960s/70s pure utilitarian mode. There are exposed metal girders and roofing which is as much decorative as functional.

market exterior
market exterior

Parts of the exterior have also been decorated with murals like this.



The inside has been rebuilt too, with brand new flooring that replaced the old deteriorating concrete, and more natural light comes in through new windows. But there are nods to the look of the building 40-50 years ago, such as this neonesque sign.

market scene

Above it looms the concession to modern times, though — the giant screen, which fortunately is muted.

market scene

In addition to the food stands shown above, there are other vendors.

beauty supply shop
shoe repair shop
gift shop

But the thing that got me really excited was the return of the old fish stand. Check out that baccala!

fish stand

There are filets, but also lots of whole fish which they will scale, clean and cut into filets or steaks. Bass, snapper, flounder, whiting, even shad.

fish stand

I got a bass, and instead of sending it to the Bassomatic I had it fileted. Look at these beauties!

bass filets


    • It’s really nice being able to get filets from a fish you pick. They also have small ones that you can grill whole which I’m hoping to do when the weather gets a little better.

  1. its still a little wierd to me having indoor more or less permanent markets

    ive found them most everywhere else ive traveled

    but my little country prefers outdoors roaming markets….. wednesdays and saturdays in my cities case….with all the stands relocating to other towns to fill the rest of the week

    • oh also…it never fails to amaze me that every local little market has a stroop wafel stand

      and they do good business

      not much of a sweet tooth me…ill have a stroop wafel like twice a year…..doesnt strike me as a great business model

      but whatever….if you are ever here…. get a market stroopwafel…..still warm still stroopy

      its a whole different animal than the store bought ones

  2. I love indoor markets like this and I don’t care how much opposition they sometimes garner (gentrification, tourist trap, whatever, I’m busy grazing.) Farmers’ markets sometimes attract this same kind of disdain. When we were in Barcelona (gentrification, tourist trap) we went more than once to Europe’s largest indoor market tourist trap, La Boqueria, it’s on everyone’s sightseeing list, and I couldn’t have been happier.

    One of my happiest discoveries, and this is on no one’s tourist radar, was the Marché Forville, in Cannes (!) This hype-website makes it sound like you step outside the Palais du Film and it’s right there, but in reality you walk away from La Croisette, the boulevard along the Mediterranean, head up a hill, cross under an elevated highway, and there it is, Cannes Profonde (the “real Cannes,” the Cannes of the residents.)

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