Food feeds your soul. Food enriches a community. Despite what your opinions are about neighborhood schools, I would argue that we lost our sense of true community with the advent of mega grocery stores and super centers. We are blinded by the fluorescent lights, shrunken by towering end caps, lost in a maze of aisles, and beaten by time, forever in a rush. Gone are the days of meandering neighborhood sidewalks, popping into locally owned shops, chatting with neighbors. Gone are locally owned businesses with a personal touch and a friendly how-do-you-do. Gone are the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Gone is our sense of community in our everyday lives.
Somehow bumping into a friend in the laundry detergent aisle at Target (as much as I love Target!) is not the same as running into a pal at the local bakery where you might sample the day's goods, discuss dinner ideas, linger over a cup of coffee, or catch up on local goings on (aka: gossip). A sidewalk commute beats driving and fighting for parking any day. What developer even even favors sidewalks over cul de sacs these days? And P.S., a little walking just might do our bodies good.
I love living where I can walk to do many of my errands and have date night options just a few steps away. Let me put it this way, I can enjoy dinner and a movie with my husband all within walking distance. Everything is close enough to dare to wear insensible shoes. Our few blocks pack a punch, but the best is yet to come. There's one thing I'm anticipating more than any furniture shop, restaurant, or shoe emporium.
My illustrious neighborhood, replete with sidewalks, charm, and old-fashioned neighborliness, will soon be home to Raleigh's newest farmers market. The Five Points Farmers Market kicks off its inaugural season this Saturday, May 1. Look for a host of fresh, local wares in the lower parking lot of Nofo @ The Pig at 2014 Fairview Rd. The market will be open every Saturday morning May 1 to October 30 from 8:00 - 12:00. Shoppers can buy a veritable treasure trove of fresh goodies like vegetables, berries, cheese, eggs, seafood, meat, cut flowers, jams, cakes, bread and a variety of other treats from visiting vendors (think wine, hot sauce, and the like).
Pop in to celebrate this new addition to one of Raleigh's oldest neighborhoods. There's a kick-off party Friday evening 6:00 - 8:00 with free food, drinks, and live local music. Props to Jason Stegall of Southport Seafood, Jonathan Botta of Bickett Market, and Jean Martin of Nofo for being our farmers market trailblazers. I plan on being a frequent patron and am plenty happy to not add yet another shopper discount card to my key chain.
On Saturday mornings in Five Points you can grab a cup of coffee and a muffin at The Third Place, window shop some antique stores, buy a dress for date night at Hayley's, get cash for your babysitter, load up on cloth diapers and gear at babiology, get your prescription filled at Hayes Barton Pharmacy, nosh at Nofo (serving early morning breakfast 8:00- 10:00 and full brunch 10:00- 3:00), or simply wander about, knowing that you'll run into a friendly, familiar face.
Ilina is the mom of two who writes about food here every Wednesday. You can always find her on her own blog Dirt & Noise.