Hey, market! I mean, Haymarket.

One of the best things about Boston is Haymarket, the weekly Friday-Saturday outdoor market extravaganza held downtown, rain or shine, whether it’s a scorcher or a blizzard.

Not everyone agrees with me; many find Haymarket dirty, seedy, difficult. It is definitely NOT a hippie/yuppie/organic/local farmer’s market. Instead, it is run by people selling food that produce wholesalers couldn’t sell to the mainstream supermarkets. Therefore, it is super cheap and therefore, naturally, I like it.

Where else can you get three pounds of tomatoes for $1? Three pints of strawberries for $1.50? Six artichokes for $2?

Yes, some of the produce needs to be consumed relatively quickly or else it goes bad (especially soft fruits like the aforementioned strawberries and their berry relatives), but I have never had a problem with most of the food I buy there. And even if something does go bad, it goes straight into our composter and we’re out about 50 cents, so it’s okay!

Plus, I have a husband with the most terrifyingly large appetite I’ve ever seen. No, really: last weekend I made a lasagna, had one piece, put one more aside for my lunch the next day, and he ate the rest for dinner and lunch. THE REST. Of the whole, extra-large, 15″ x 11″ x 4″ lasagna pan.

So, we need lots of food on hand at all times.

Hence: Haymarket to the rescue!

We’ve been really good about going regularly this year, spending about $15-$20 each week and getting almost too much food to carry home. Not just fruits and veggies, either! We have our favorite pita man ($1.50 for a pack of ten 12″ diameter pitas!) and our trusty cheese man (any two cheeses for $5!), as well.

The Haymarket crowd is an interesting mix. There are some wonderful vendors who throw in an extra orange or two and call you sweetheart, but there are also mean vendors who yell at you when you touch their fruit or ask for one pound of something when the posted rate is the price for two. It’s all part of the experience!

So when I took my camera down to Haymarket a while back looking for another PAW opportunity for my docu class, I was very careful to avoid the angry old men.

After taking a few shots surreptitiously, I got what I came for. And so I present to you, the Fish Man:

And he, in a nutshell, is all that is wonderful about Haymarket.

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