Saturday at Fort Worth's 
Santa Fe Rail Market

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saturday8.jpg (16527 bytes)It was suggested to Eyes on Texas that Thursday was an unfair day to take photos of the highly touted new Fort Worth Santa Fe Rail Market, advertised to be the 'first' in Texas and modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market. It was suggested that it was much busier on Saturdays, when the Farmer's Market was open. So to be fair, on Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 11 in the morning, Fort Worth's Public Market was visited again. Those who suggested a Saturday visit should probably have left well enough alone. After the Saturday visit a drive west on I-30 a couple miles led to a location in Fort Worth that Seattleites and former Seattleites have compared to Pike Place since the day it opened. A concentrated Pike Place. That being Central Market, stocked full of the best of produce from around the globe, a saltwater port-worthy seafood selection and on this particular Saturday hatch chiles from New Mexico were being roasted. Don't know if that even happens at Pike Place!

click a thumbnail to view a photo

saturday4.jpg (20874 bytes) Flapping in the wind, the sign above the Farmer's Market. Despite the sign it was difficult to find the Farmer's Market. The presumption was that the Farmer's Market was large, perhaps Dallas Farmer's Market size, and thus impossible to miss. When it wasn't found out front, the empty parking lot out back was checked. Nothing there. Then looking over to the covered area of the inter-modal transportation center some tables were noticed with people sitting on chairs and a few people walking around. Surely this can't be it was the first thought. But it was...
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The heavily advertised Saturday Farmer's Market turned out to have 5 vendors and only one of them was selling any produce, that being the one we see on the right with a table with a few vegetables. One of those ubiquitous blue garbage cans is in view too.

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Saturday at 11 am in front of Fort Worth's Santa Fe Rail Market, the "first public market in Texas and modeled after Seattle's Pike Place"...you can see there are a few more cars than there were on the Thursday visit.

saturday3.jpg (19713 bytes) The Rail Market is located at the Intermodal Transportation Center. Thus you have various means of mass transportation to get yourself to the "first public market in Texas". You can take the Trinity Rail Express, all the way from Dallas, or take the trolley which makes a circuit to the main attractions---the Stockyards, the Cultural District and Sundance Square, or you can get on a bus. Or if you are from way out of town and desperately want to see the "first public market in Texas", Amtrak stops here too.
saturday2.jpg (23055 bytes) Here you see one of the trolleys parked at the Intermodal Transportation Center stopping to pick up some people who have arrived via one of the other modals. No one was observed though, just the lone guy in the above photo.
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We put it off long enough. Let's go inside the "first public market in Texas", the Santa Fe Rail Market, on a Saturday morning, a bit past 11 and see if it is any livelier than on a Thursday afternoon....well, we do see more people, a few more anyway. And the garbage can isn't blue, it appears to be gray! Is this a design change or is this vendor being a rebel?

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Well. This part of the Rail Market looks just as junked up as it did on Thursday. Was this blue garbage can there on Thursday?

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Now, here is a big difference from Thursday. This is Seafoodville. On Thursday there was no one in sight except for the seafood vendor who looked to be resting. This Saturday there appears to be at least half a dozen Public Market aficionados viewing the seafood from a distance. Maybe they've heard of those Pike Place comparisons and are afraid the fish might fly...

Let's go to Seattle to Pike Place Market, but not on a Saturday, mid-week is crowded enough,
unless you want to rub elbows with throngs of tourists,
Saturday and Sunday are not good days to visit Pike Place...


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