An Immigrant Watering Hole

March 9, 2012

My blog of yesterday was about Grand  Central Market in downtown Los Angeles in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The market still exists, still thrives, just as I wrote about it THE PROVIDER. It was a tourist eye-full then, and an ear-full, and taste-fill, while simultaneously highly charging the olfactory sense. It has prevailed, located in the ground floor of the stately Homer Laughlin Building, which once housed an office for American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, forming the centerpiece of L.A.’s Historic Core District. But  primarily it was/is spectacular for small businesses that entrepreneur-charged immigrants start, entry level businesses, as they set to work on their American Dream.

Since those days, Los Angeles built Farmers Market in  the Fairfax area—an outdoor bizarre, another tourist landmark. And immigrants moved there.

Since then, the immigrant moved to having his own larger independent market. But when the American supermarket arrived in the 1950’s, it left the immigrant independent market far behind. It largely replaced  these neighborhood markets. But now in the new century, as the wheel turns, the neighborhood farmers market has sprouted up, be it only once a week.  The charm it sets off, being outdoors, makes me conjure up the European Market Day in the public plaza where even  the traveling barber came to town and set up his chair. We haven’t made that much of a return, but maybe it will happen for children. And who exactly is running these neighborhood farmer markets? Immigrants.