Blog Prompt #1-Midtown Market
Go to the Midtown Market on Lake St. Observe. Define Energy. List
the ways in which you might create, use and exchange energy here.
This was the first time I had visited the Midtown Exchange, but I had heard a lot about it because my daughters father is a carpenter and had worked at the site during it's renovation for over a year. He was very proud of his work and I really enjoyed seeing what I had heard so much about.
When I arrived at the market I was first aware of the exchange of cultural energy because it surrounded my senses. The individual sights, smells,colors,sounds,and accents of the variety of cultures was interesting, but also the market as a whole was completely different from most American shopping settings.
The second energy exchange I encountered was emotional, which I experienced firsthand. I walked into a store and met the owner Jim who began telling me about his grandfather Bill. Bill was a merchant at the Minneapolis Farmers Market for over 30 years. Jim said that his grandfather would take him with him to the market as a child and when his grandfather passed away last Fall Jim decided to rename his store in memory of his grandfather. I was very touced by Jim for both his openness and his love and respect for his grandfather. Jim is pictured below with the organic beef sign.
I could feel historical energy in the market as well, like the carpenters boot print in cement which was preserved in the floor from when the building when it was originally built. The footprint lead me to imagine all of the ways the space may have been used for decades past, or not used.
The was a great exchange of social energy as well. This is a place where people who may not otherwise cross paths talk about melons, or cactus, or Norwegian pastry. Or perhaps the weather, or art, or their families. I loved to see the tables for chess and checkers. It made this more than just a place to exchange goods, but also a place to spend time, interact, and slow down.
Before I left I came upon a man who was playing an accoustic guitar and singing. On his break I asked him if it would be o.k. if I took a photograph of his guitar...since I feel it is impolite to walk up to a person and start photographing them or their personal possessions without permission. He said that would be fine and offered to play a song for me. He played two songs actually...one by Dave Matthews and one by Paul Simon. He was very kind.
I found the most remarkable thing about the market was the way it made people open up socially. I think this is because the atmosphere makes you feel included even if you have never been there. I see people everyday who are clustered into little pockets of people who look and sound the same and it was refreshing to be among such a variety of people at the market. I thought I would feel uncomfortable there but it was quite the opposite. I felt more included there than I do at most of the places life takes me.