My Favorite L.A. Place
My Happiest Place on Earth
If you know me well, you know that my favorite place in Los Angeles is the Original Farmers Market. Meet Me At 3rd and Fairfax, the motto of this place, has been my mantra for most of my life.
Vintage Farmers Market Postcard - 1950's
When I was a child, the Farmers Market property was huge. The parking lot stretched out for blocks. There were small out-buildings used for storage in the same style of architecture as the Market. The Gilmore Adobe (built in 1852) was behind high walls and a big iron gate. The courtyard, with its beautifully manicured lawn, is completely surrounded by trees and shrubs, so the front gate is the only view available. From the gate, you can see the veranda shaded with the overhang of the red tile roof. The porch has potted plants and flowers on it. It's so beautiful. The public is not invited into the adobe, trespassing is forbidden. Today, the Adobe is used as the corporate offices for the Market. I think the courtyard and garden are available for small corporate events. I was inside the gates once as a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy. One day, maybe this beautiful landmark will be opened to the public. On March 6, 1991 the Gilmore Adobe was designated Los Angeles Cultural and Historical Landmark #534a. You can read more about the history of the Farmers Market here.
Later, in my teen years, I used to shop alot at the Farmers Market Annex. This was a duplicate architectural version of the Market, across the parking lot. This is where the secondary parking lot for the Market is now (near Chipotle). There was a western clothes shop (I bought my summer white mocasins there); there was a store where you could have your name written in gold and fashioned into a necklace; there were dress shops, hairdressers, an antique mall. There were also little out-buildings in the parking lot that sold baskets, parakeets and all kids of fun stuff. Later one of these out-buildings became a book store.
Lots of oil and tar here at Gilmore Field
Before The Grove shopping center was built next door and around the Market, you could always park easily. Since The Grove is a regular shopping center and stays open until 9 or 10pm, the Market was forced to change it's hours too. Instead of closing at sundown, the Market stays open until 9 or sometimes later. The Grove has upped the bar of excellence as far as food is concerned at the Market. When I was a child, none of the restaurants were that great. Today, many of the places are really good.
Sigh. I miss the old, quiet days at the Market, but am happy that it's still there (since 1934) and that The Grove has made it even more of a tourist destination. It's still a wonderful place to buy fruit, veggies, fresh meat and poultry and other delicacies. There's free entertainment year-round and it's great for people-watching!
I hope to see you there sometime soon. Meet Me At 3rd and Fairfax.
Labels: Los Angeles