I love going to the farmer’s market on Sunday morning. I spend more than I usually would for the same produce as in the grocery store, but that’s only because I don’t buy organic at Safeway. Organics at the farmer’s market are cheaper. And I can’t get Rainbow Farms fresh apple cider or Acme bread* at the supermarket. (I can’t get the cider for half the year at the farmer’s market, for that matter: they only sell it during the fall and winter.)
But most of all I love to people watch. All sorts of people go to the market; all ages, all enthnicities. The market gives a snapshot of the diversity which I love so much about this city, which is being eroded by insane housing prices and low wages** for non-tech workers.
Best of all are the families with small children. Four-year-olds with huge eyes holding tight to their dad’s hand while tasting a strawberry or sample of persimmon. Babies in strollers looking bored with the market but fascinated with their own toes.
The farmer’s market always has a musician playing. I usually tip buskers on general principle, but for whatever reason (probably because I usually do not go past where they are set up) I don’t often tip these guys. The guitarist who was there this morning was pretty good, and was set up right near the Acme truck, so I was going to toss a little bit his way, when I was through standing in line to get my pain epi and sourdough loaves. (Long lines, but so worth it.)
Then a little boy who appeared to be about three showed up. The musician smiled warmly at him, talked to him for a minute, and then launched into one of the best versions of “Wheels on the Bus” I’ve ever heard, which was broadcast through the market. I mentally decided to double the musician’s tip for being so sweet to the little boy. Until he got to the last verse, which he sang as “[spoken]This is totally shameless , but… [sung] when the people get off they tip their musician, tip their musician, tip their musician…”
I quadrupled his tip. The man deserved it.
*You can get some Acme bread at the local Costco, but not the particular varieties we eat.
**I am happy to report that the Mountain View City Council voted last week to have a $15 city-wide minimum wage by 2018.