On the farmers market in Bloomington, and how smart things make us look dumb.


Here’s an interesting tidbit: The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market is run by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

As I’ve noted following past trips to Bloomington, the farmers market takes place on the grounds of City Hall’s parking lot, which as you can see, implies a commitment to multiple usage that died in New Albany shortly after the Scribners landed and began performing their unique style of Jimmy Buffett karaoke minstrelsy in the Ohio River mud.

It is striking that while we speak of ways to operate the farmers market in New Albany as though it were entirely divorced from the remainder of our downtown infrastructure (Bicentennial Park, Amphitheater, et al), Bloomington’s farmers market is wholly integrated — run by a city department, situated astride a bike path, connected in myriad ways with the city around it, and sharing a parking lot with the equivalent of our City-County Building.

As usual, I already discern the objection of the Know Nothings: But Roger, Bloomington is different.

If so, the primary difference is that Bloomington is smart, and New Albany is dumb. Really, really dumb. We seem to like it like that, so hit it, Joel!

If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son of a bitches
I’ve seen more than I can recall