By Kelly Bates
"I no longer have to go to Toronto or Seattle to swoon over thick riding hood red tomatoes, large leafy deep green lettuce heads, and fish so fresh the eyes stare back at you. After years of imagining a vibrant public market in downtown Boston, the Governor has pledged ten million dollars to finally build this house of joy for foodies, tourists, and Boston workers alike.
In less than two years, right near the Haymarket train station, New Englanders will have a place to explore all that is good and right about eating and living from farms and vendors that cherish natural and hopefully local products.
There’s something tantalizing about a place of culinary bliss that takes us away from the sins of the food court and back to basics. A place that introduces us to new eats, experiences, and cultures and brings the familiar sigh of happiness that comes with eating a delectable piece of cheese, or seeing the most brightly colored piece of meat that gives the family the best barbeque.
I hope the market will be more authentic than Quincy Market which still has a place in our hearts and history, but has become overrun by chain stores. This new market could be a real place of exchange and appreciation of farm and bakery fresh products in the heart of New England’s city.
It should be a place where both high end and low-income shoppers can afford fixings for a meal. A local chef can find the freshest ingredients. A source of jobs for young people working urban farms in Boston. A great place to bring your co-workers for a wholesome sandwich, and a place to marvel, smell, taste, and concoct a fine masterpiece for Sunday dinner. Each stall should represent the best of New England creations, leaving passerbys feeling deep remorse for not having the time to buy one more vegetable, fruit or pastry.
Because it will be run by a nonprofit, the Boston Public Market Association, there’s an exciting opportunity for there to be family friendly classes, events, and activities that make the market an alive and festive place to be. Or a place where Boston public school children learn the latest lesson on nutrition. Let’s hope for a nice place, but not one caught up in pretense. A no frills, but colorful and clean location that makes everyone from Roxbury to Rotterdam comfortable and happy stepping through the doors."