To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
I suspect that every large city in America has at least one public market, which is similiar to a farmers market, but on a larger scale and in a permanent structure, open year-round. Here in Cincinnati, we have the oldest public market in Ohio, the venerable Findlay Market located in Over-the-Rhine, an area north of downtown which was once home to one of the largest German immigrant populations in the country before falling over time into inner-city blight. Here’s a look:
Today, the area is making a comeback, and gentrification (a progressive or derogatory term, depending on your point of view) is in the air, creeping ever-northward from downtown as real estate investors, entrepreneurs and residence-seekers buy and renovate century-plus old buildings, increasing property values. It’s an oft-repeated story — low-income tenants are no longer able to afford higher rents, and the demographic shift accelerates as the poor are squeezed out.
Change, of course, is inevitable. I recognize that. As a lover of “old stuff,” I don’t like change just for the sake of change, but I accept that change is going to happen — it’s how and to what degree change is managed that determines for better or worse. The extremes are often completely unrealistic or supremely shallow — witness the Tea Party’s ideological fixation with an idealized ante-bellum America, and contemporary culture’s superficial noise: “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Where is the humanity in all-or-nothing? Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” I’m not that altruistic, but I figure his words should be at least half the equation.