Guest Market: Evening Farmers Market in Ocean Beach, CA
My mother and my sister Leslie live in San Diego, CA, and I’m presently visiting to help Mom settle into her new apartment. Late in the day on Wednesday, Leslie decided it was time to take a break from all the moving and sorting. She correctly assumed that I’d like to pay a visit the evening Farmers Market at Ocean Beach to help me get through missing two weekends of markets in NYC. We arrived in the heart of this surfer haven about half an hour before sundown, and the market was in full swing.
Newport Avenue in the heart Ocean Beach is lined with iconic California palm trees. Normally, I have seen street markets set up with the vendors facing into the street, with shoppers walking down the center. At this market, however, the tents are set up facing towards the sidewalk. So market shoppers and market vendors interact with the permanent businesses – shops, beach bars, and restaurants. But they don’t entirely ignore the street – you can ride a llama up and down Newport Ave. for $2 if you weigh under 70 lbs. I didn’t quite qualify.
The entire neighborhood gets involved with the farmers market. The people watching is just as fun as the market shopping. There are also crafters set up in parking lots just off the street, and we saw lots of interesting jewelry, hats, and more.
But my focus was really on the food (it was well past dinnertime). We bought the first blueberries of the season, as well as some sweet, fragrant donut peaches, all organic and pesticide-free. There were plenty of prepared food vendors as well. For dinner, we brought home tacos and quesadillas from Gourmet Tamales, with several different fillings, including cactus (my favorite), squash blossom, and chile relleno. They were absolutely delicious. For dessert, we picked up some handmade chocolates, but more about them tomorrow.
My only issue with my greenmarket at Abingdon Square in New York City is that no matter how early I get there, I’m always late. By the time I roll in at the crack of 10, just before my pilates class, all the good produce has been purchased by those mysterious and vexing “morning people.” So being able to get my pick of the crop at 4:00 PM, or even getting a great selection at 7:30 PM is just ideal for me. I loved the romance of strolling through the fruits, veggies, and cut flowers as the sun went down over the Pacific Ocean, just a block away.
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