oh, and #8 – the fruit market

Of course, the perfect weekend in Portland would also include wandering through the farmer’s markets – which sadly do not open until March 20.

(Or happily DO open March 20th, thus occasioning another ride soon into my closest Bike Utopia . . . )

But even in the heart of winter, Portland has . . .

Uncle Paul offers better prices than the grocery stores and a nourishment to the eyes and nose before a single piece of fruit is eaten.

We can personally recommend the 99¢ Tangelo as well as the Golden Shasta mandarin.  We splurged on out-of-season berries (but, hey, high in antioxidants even if the EFSA has recently pooh-poohed the idea that “antioxidant properties” are “beneficial to the maintenance or improvement of the functions of the body”) and long-stemmed mushrooms.  The lovely fragrant apples, crisp and sweet, kept us company on the ride back home.

There is, to me, an integral link between cycling and outdoor markets.  Both encourage a neighborliness even in the middle of urban space.  Both recall us to fresh air and the living earth.  Both reconnect us with our bodies’ senses.

My partner-in-crime asked on the ride in, while we stood shivering in the rain changing a bike tube, what I would have thought of joining my path with his if I’d been able to see into this drippy darkening moment along the roadside.

Sitting down to dinner our last evening, I was able to ask back, “And what would you have thought, if you’d seen yourself sitting down to this for dinner – ?”

But it’s been years since he moved beyond meat-and-potatoes.  We’ve both learned something over the years about the good life.

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5 thoughts on “oh, and #8 – the fruit market

  1. Could I please have some of that salad, please? And that fruit market. The winter here immediately got more wintry when I saw those pictures. Even though it’s almost spring.

  2. That is a nice looking market!

    My parents raised us gorging on fruit and berries of all sorts, and I have to say it is a habit that sticks with you. I feel weird if I don’t eat fruit for a day.

  3. And we are so lucky now to have so many wonderful varieties available. When I was growing up apples came as Delicious – Red or Golden – and that was about all. Farmer’s markets (and bicycles) give me hope for the future!

  4. Did you know that “Uncle Paul” is LDS? He was in my ward in Tigard. Every time I visit his fruit stand on Hawthorne I feel like it is extra special, because when we shared wards is when he was trying to get the permits to have that place. It was horrible….the city put him through the ringer. He worked so hard and never gave up on his dream of “Uncle Paul’s.”

    • Didn’t have a clue. I do love to hear about hard-worked dreams like that coming true !

      Every time we biked past during the weekend there were people walking in and walking out with fresh produce. It feels like the quintessential Portland neighborhood place, quirky + wholesomely wholegrained. When we made our tangelo/mandarin stop the small shop held the two or three young guys running the counter and a young-30s woman in plaid flannel, a laughing man and woman in their late 20s, 3 Indian men with fresh tilaka marking their foreheads, and an older woman, deliciously choosy about each piece of fruit she picked up.

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