Tag: Markets

‘Social Spaces’: The Budget Traveler’s Happy Place

‘Social Spaces’: The Budget Traveler’s Happy Place Photo by ForsterFoto via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by ForsterFoto via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Over at Travel Generation, Bruce Thurlow has put together a list of nine “social spaces”—parks, markets and so on—that he argues are the key to truly appreciating the life of a new city.

I agree: I think I’ve done some of my best people-watching and observation on subway trains, on playing fields or in public squares. And the best part? These spaces are almost always free, or pretty close to it.

Here are a few spots to add to Thurlow’s list:

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Troubles at Tsukiji

Tokyo’s fabled Tsukiji Fish Market is attracting its share of controversy these days. First, the market temporarily banned tourists from its early morning tuna auctions after a drunk British tourist was (bizarrely) caught licking the head of a frozen tuna. Now, Tokyo’s governor has announced the city will move forward with plans to relocate the market to a site once occupied by Tokyo Gas Company. Some of the market’s fishmongers oppose the move, slated for 2014, based on studies that have found benzene and petrochemicals in the soil at the new site.

The move—to reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay—would also make for a longer trek for tourists, 500 of whom visit the market daily. It seems the fishmongers wouldn’t mind fewer tourists. If the government can guarantee a clean-up, the relocation just might work out in merchants’ favor.

Awakening the Primal Chef Within at Greece’s Open-Air Markets

Photo by Daquella Manera via Flickr (Creative Commons).

This Smithsonian story on the Athens Central Market got me thinking about food (again), but not for the usual escapist reasons. For one thing, Athens Central isn’t a food porn kind of place, since it has all those bloody carcasses, intestines and glassy-eyed fish that inevitably come with creepy sales pitches (i.e. “baby lambs fed only on mother’s milk!”). When I first visited the market in 2004, the full-on raucousness of the place unnerved me. But it also awoke something primal in my palate—something these old but enduring agoras usually do to the sheltered supermarket set.

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Soup to Nuts

Bangkok's Bangplee Market has everything Newley Purnell could ever want. Except one thing.

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