Been some interesting discussions lately on parking at Findlay and the disappearance of smaller farmers selling produce.
My thoughts on the smaller farmers disappearing is this, I've noticed as farmers have left and been replaced by shops selling prepared food that the amount of people have increased. Seeing how the popularity of farmers markets is increasing across the country I don't know if this is a coincidence or cause and effect.
On the parking front, seems many people I've talked to don't feel its a lack of parking that is the issue, the problem is its all condensed into a couple hour period on a Saturday afternoon. The most interesting proposal I've heard came from a shop owner proposing they charge for parking from noon to 2pm on Saturday and Sundays to spread out the customers.
One thing I do know, the bike is the way to get there.
The best kept secret at Findlay? Dojo Gelato has a new espresso machine which I've been taking advantage of. If my Sundays consist of sitting on the tweetdeck with the NYTimes and a coffee and cigar, my Saturdays are going to be a laid back espresso and cigar at the market.
I found a link to the 350 project on The City Flea blog. Now I've been preaching this forever, you buy something from a local owner and the majority of the money stays right here. Buy something from a chain and the majority of the money leaves. So, make a commitment to spend $50 a month at three of your favorite local businesses, a dime and change over $4 a business for $12.50 a week! and watch the community grow.
This is why we need to, have to stop designing cities for cars and start thinking about people again. One of the biggest reasons for the rise of farmers markets is the space they create. A piazza, walkable and enjoyable. All you have to do is take a look around Findlay and Fountain Square to know this is true. When the Banks and Washington Park come online just watch them explode with people too. Does it get anymore big city feel than this, a group of friends splitting a loaf of bread and drinking coffee. Then a couple walking past with flowers and munching bread mimicked a one of the first Parisians we saw walking around on vacation last year.