by Mitch Lehman
It takes something extraordinary to keep me in San Marino at 8:00 p.m. on a Friday – a student performance or sporting event being the most common – but I admit to being a little bit of a curiosity seeker last weekend.
So please excuse my morbid desire to stick around for the final seconds of San Marino’s now-historic farmer’s market – literally, as in “part of history.”
Many residents didn’t think much of it, called it a “nuisance,” or “inconvenience” among the most printable synonyms. Funny, but the vast majority of us whom it truly might have bothered or inconvenienced didn’t think so.
I loved the activity, and the weekly arrival of the vendors sounded a sense of anticipation, an official declaration that the weekend was upon us. From a business standpoint, I feel that any time you can bring a thousand people to within fifteen feet of your front door, you should do it – no matter the inconvenience, be it real or imagined.
I loved seeing kids congregate near the tables and the musicians, sucking down flavored lemonades to wash the caramel corn out of their braces. What a perfect place to be a middle schooler. The worldliness of a Moroccan street market, the innocence of, well, San Marino, California. If I were thirteen, I would have season tickets.
The marketers themselves were polite almost to a fault, and the looks of genuine dejection as they un-popped their pop-ups for the final time belied my wrongly held belief that San Marino might not be a good fit.
Theirs is a tough act to follow; our parking lot was never cleaner.
“We’ll miss San Marino,” said a maintenance worker as he grabbed a stack of chairs with his work-gloved hand. “This has been a great location.”
Nick Spano, a former actor who operates City Farm promptly left the country, according to his voice mail, but we hope it isn’t the last we have heard from him.
One wholly unintended benefit: Not long after its record-setting debut, the San Marino Psychic complained to city officials she “wasn’t aware the event was coming to town.”
How could I not find space to include that statement – one that has been read back to me more than just a couple times…