Friday, February 13, 2015

The Palo Alto Market

Last Sunday we did something we've never done before. We went way out of our way to a neighborhood we barely know and stood in line for 45 minutes. We weren't there for the opening of a hip club (us? ha!), a trendy new restaurant or a concert. Nope. We were there to check out a new market that opened in December in the up and coming neighborhood of Poblenou. If you've never been there, Poblenou has a very industrial, almost gritty feel to it (I can best summarize my first impression of the neighborhood by saying that I somehow felt very aware of concrete) but it's recently become the home of many youngsters and hipsters, artists and innovators (watch this video if you want to learn more). Thus, it probably comes as no surprise that it's also the birthplace of the Palo Alto Market.

The Palo Alto Market seeks to create a different kind of open air market in the city, one that highlights local businesses and focuses on art, vintage fashion and home décor and handcrafted goods. But they also want the market goers to have fun as they're exposed to these new vendors so there is live music, workshops for adults and kids, gourmet food trucks and a general ambiance not unlike attending a garden party with 1,000 other people.

Here are some pictures from our visit:

At last the food truck craze has made it to Barcelona--and with such panache too. Isn't this truck adorable? You'd expect it to serve cotton candy or strawberry shortcake, but indeed it serves piadina (Italian flatbread sandwiches). 

I think that, in fact, most people came here to eat. That was certainly a major factor in our visit (plus a 45 minute wait in line certainly works up one's appetite), so I sampled the goods from this vendor (yummy) and then had dessert at the Çukor stand where they sold a wonderful dessert, kurtos, which taste very much like the cinnamon toast I used to make as a child. 

A picture of my lunch. Calamari on a bun with a spicy, Japanese mayonnaise. Not too shabby. 

You can see now why I said it's like a large garden party right? The foliage, the strings of lights, the pebbles crunching under your feet. A very beautiful setting for a market.   

These guys weren't the live entertainment I was talking about but they had some wonderful music and it contributed to the beauty of the surroundings. 

This market had many vendors that sold antique furniture and vintage pieces and we saw a lot of incredible pieces. This particular vendor had so much great stuff that I actually got really angry that my place is already furnished. 

I actually debated buying one of these enormous letter R's for Roman's room but the idea of carrying it on the metro stopped me. And how cool/terrifying is that big clown head? 

If you'd like to visit, the Palo Alto Market is located on Carrer dels Pellaires, 30. They are open on the first weekend of every month. Entrance is 2 Euro a person, children enter free.

Go, explore, eat, shop, and have fun! And let me know what you think!

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