Public markets are great places, no matter where you find them . I think the first I ever visited is the lively one in Seattle, image above from here

The Public Market on the waterfront in Seattle is known as Pike Place Market, and it’s been going for more than 100 years. Image above from here.

In my town, we have several farmer’s markets that show up around the city bringing the freshest, tastiest, most interesting food to hungry and appreciative people on pre-determined days.

And every day of the week, you can go to the Granville Island Public Market, image above, from here

Our market is blessed with a wonderful waterfront location, above, and it attracts, they say some 10 million visitors a year. Which can make it hard to buy a zucchini some days.

Great cities have great public markets, above is in Chicago, on the South side seen here.

And so does Boston, above. This market, known today as Haymarket, is on sacred land where food has been sold and bought, fresh and direct, for more than 200 years. Left image, the start of the day, seen at The nice shot of the fresh Atlantic fish on the right from the swell Boston blog, clueless in Boston, seen here.

The piece reminds us: “Haymarket is iconic, but it’s also messy, loud, and funky”.

Markets that evolve naturally–because people who have food to sell want to connect directly with people who need food, i.e. everyone–seem to be the best. Some turn out to be loud and funky, and some turn out to be beautiful, bliss markets. Which brings us to Paris.

Above is Marché Richard Lenoir, image from a nice article in the Guardian here. As the article says: “Every Parisian neighbourhood has its own “marché volant” – a flying
market – where hundreds of food stalls magically appear on a street for one or two mornings each week.”

Many agree that the Sunday Marché Richard Lenoir is in contention for the best in the city of light. Above image of Richard Lenoir found here.

Another contender among Paris markets is Les Enfants Rouges that has its origins in the early 1600’s and is named for a hospice near the site for orphans who wor red uniforms. Image of the Gate here.

Inside Les Enfants Rouges image here.

Above is a photo that reminded me of something else about Paris street markets. They provide more than just food. I went to a food market and chose one tomato to make a sandwich. I held it up and asked, “how much’? The tomato seller, who looked a lot like this guy, waived me away with disdain, saying something like: “take it, I can’t be bothered”, then he smiled a big warm smile that said: “it’s yours my friend”. Image found here

But wonderful as they are, the markets of Paris have competition in other places. In Italy, in Rome, there is Piazza Campo de’ Fiori.

Above image of Campo de Fiori from a couple named Larry and Jill who’ve been there.

And this view, closer, from here. Italian markets would seem to have the right combination of beauty and boistrousness. It is nutrition plus theatre.

OK we’re all hungry, but before we go to the market, consider a couple of other well regarded choices.

The Market in Cusco Peru.

Montreal, Marche Jean Talon.

Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona. Above 3 images from here.

Any of us who are lucky enough to have a Public Market nearby should be counting our lucky stars. The food always tastes better, it’s always more interesting–look purple carrots!–and the food is being dispensed by someone who is either the person who grew it or caught it or made it, or someone who knows who that is. And that makes it taste all the better.

If only the stock market were like that.