August 4, 2012
Two days after arriving in the area I recall being referred to as: "MadCity," "MadTown," and "Forty Square Miles surrounded by Reality;" it was time to check out the famed Farmer's Market on the Capitol Square.
The location adds a lot to the atmosphere.
Then there are te vendors, musicians, kids, adults, sights, sounds, and smells of all descriptions.
It's quite an experience. The colors of eggplant; bright chilis; the longest and strangest collection o gourds I've ever seen just begin the journey around the block. (Please go counter-clockwise like everyone else - it makes for much easier walking.)
My advice is to take a sturdy bag and some cash (although most vendors seem to take credit/debit cards). You can buy produce for home or for eating on the spot; purchase some of the prettiest and freshest flowers you've ever seen; and enjoy eating some squeeky cheese curds or fresh made bakery items.
Just the way to start a Saturday morning. The market also goes on Wednesday - and it struck me that many vendors are driving a long way into Madison to take part - one from Antigo and many, many others at least an hour away.
It is a great place to people watch and catch some music offered up by musicians of every stripe. Today there were a variety of political causes on the square anxious to share and discuss their point of view in the time-honored democratic manner (small 'd' democrat).
Look out for parking - it was only after plugging $1.75 into a parking meter that I noticed the max tme to buy was 25 minutes - although there didn't seem to be a max on the number of quarters going in! I'll remember that for next time, and hopefully next time will find me arriving by bike.
You can look to find me on the bike lanes and paths around town very soon - and after spending six years in a city aspiring to be biker friendly in Indianapolis, it's great to be in one that adopted that lifestyle many years ago.
The stuff is mostly unpacked and we've settled in - work begins on Monday.
Here we go, Wisconsin!