Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Give Market this Sunday in Sem Heights a Chance...

Photo - "Mary and the Rabbits"
Personal Collection - shot in Brooklyn

Some readers might know that the reason we call our shop "Tampa Street Market" is because three years ago when we started it, Tampa didn't have a street market. We needed a place that could house a little bit of everything and still retain a cohesive identity. I would guess that most Seminole Heights residents have never visited our little shop for some confusion over what it might contain. Now with a second market in Tampa on the way this Sunday, I'm sure the confused phone calls will continue.

Seminole Heights is having an open air market on the front lawn of Hillsborough High School from 9-1 this Sunday the 14th. There will be music, food, produce, art, and all kinds of stuff. For us, a street market is a place to find just about everything - produce, plants, food, flowers, art, crafts, and cool antiques. Without some of these , a market lacks the allure of the urban treasure hunt that it is. We love visiting markets in NYC that could easily fit a new folk artist between a flower booth and a pile of antique cameras. I bought a silver cigarette case at the Portobello Road market in London while I was munching on some locally produced gourmet soup and that remains a fantastic memory of urban exploration.

I am glad that we are being included in this market, even though we are being encouraged to only bring our handmade crafts and furniture and no old funky stuff. I don't know why it is so hard to explain to people what our shop can offer them and I have no idea why we get so many "spinners" (our term for people who spin on their heels and exit our store as quickly as they came with a look of intense fear or confusion).

I have told everyone we know about the market and hope that it gets people out of their houses on what might be a chilly Sunday morning this weekend. There were something like 25,000 people in Seminole Heights in the 2000 census and that doesn't include the neighboring areas. A blog post on "Big Blue" this week asked what people can do to keep our neighborhood moving forward.

I say "Go to the market. Give it a chance. Give every business in the 'hood multiple chances. If you have a bad experience, see what you can do to remedy it. Offer constructive suggestions to business owners. We are people. We are neighbors. We aren't huge corporations that with big ole cash reserves. Most of us don't have a backup plan! We are doing all we can to make you happy so all we ask is that you give us all a second chance and... So your food was slow at the restaurant once? So you had to sit at the counter at a diner once? So a shop was closed early and you missed them? We are people with families and homes and dreams and failures, just like you. Don't give up on your own neighborhood, we locate our businesses here because we love the 'hood as much as you do.

For info on the market try


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