The new Boston Public Market opened a couple of weeks ago to much fanfare. Along with a lot of positive publicity, there were some vocal critics, so I had to check it out.
This isn’t the kind of farm stand where you buy three bags of fresh produce, load them into your car, and take them home. For one thing, it’s a transit-oriented market, in the same building as the Haymarket T Stop on the Green and Orange Lines, so you’re expected to use public transportation. That’s what I did, even though it tends to limit one’s purchases.
There were complaints that this particular market is too upscale, and I see what the detractors are talking about. It’s a beautiful space, with several dozen vendors whose museum-like displays all look like works of art. Yes, you can buy fresh corn and tomatoes, as I did. But you can also buy donuts, ice-cream, fish, noodles, bowls, juice, pasta, and other prepared foods. Not that any of those items are unheard of at standard farmers markets, it’s just that the balance is unusual: less than half of what’s offered is fresh produce from local farms. And local is the key: everything at the Public Market is sourced from New England — not even any Georgia peaches. And did I mention that the whole place is spotless?
So it’s lovely to look at and a fine place to shop if you’re taking the T and if it’s more-or-less on your way home. Prices are probably high, but I didn’t actually do any comparison shopping. The great thing is that we have local vendors with first-class items right in the middle of the city.