Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo, New York: Broadway Market

Every big city used to have a huge market, filled with vendors selling fresh food. Buffalo was no exception, as the Broadway Market has been around in one form or another for more than 120 years. It was the center of commerce in the Broadway-Fillmore area of Buffalo for decades. The latest building went up in 1956, and takes up just about all of a city block when you include a parking garage on levels two and three.

You can probably guess the problem. The clientele went through a couple of generations and moved away, and the new residents had an ever-decreasing attachment to the place. That's led to lots of studies, some government funding and some empty space.

Yes, the Broadway Market is a Buffalo tradition ... one week a year, just before Easter. People go to pick up goods, including the ever-popular butter lamb. But what does the Market do in the other 51 weeks? They are still working on that.

One quick story about the picture. The lane in front of the Market, on the far side of the street, is reserved for taxis, at least according to a sign. I didn't see many customers there on a May afternoon, let alone taxis. Are they saving the lane for the one-week-a-year burst, or is it left over from bygone days?

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