I don’t usually think to bring a cardigan in July. July in Tennessee is a time to minimize time spent outdoors; even walks are reserved for early morning or late evening hours. But it was 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning in July, and I was wishing for a sweater on the weekend I first visited John in his temporary apartment in Denhart Hall.
The lake was beautiful, but the breeze was brisk, and it took several minutes of walking for me to warm up sufficiently to enjoy the morning.
Fortunately, the walk into town from campus was long and pleasant. We passed dog walkers and cyclists, paused to watch kiteboarders struggling to harness the wind from the shore, admired the unfamiliar water birds, enjoyed the sun’s warmth through the breezes. John had told me about HarborMarket the week before in a telephone conversation, and I knew he really wanted to show me this feature of our new community. I was prepared to enjoy it, but as he predicted, I was not prepared for what I saw.
We approached from the west, and I saw green carrot tops poking out of shopping bags, people munching on pastries or sipping coffee, parents pulling wagons loaded with children and produce. One shopper even called out, “President Swallow!” showing me that even though Kenosha is much bigger than our tiny town in Tennessee, it is still small enough to run into people you know.
We turned into the main corridor of tent booths, and John smiled to see my eyes widen in disbelief at the size and scope of the market before me. Not three choices of freshly prepared food to eat on site, but 20! Not one live music venue but three! And fresh vegetables galore, and small-farm meats, and local event information, and small children chasing soap bubbles on the lawn, and crafts, and jewelry, and clothing, and … the list was endless! I knew that greater population density was going to have its gifts, but this was beyond what I had imagined.
And even in the crowds, sipping my fresh beet juice with ginger, side-stepping a curious Great Dane, surrounded by new sights and sounds and smells and infinite possibility, I heard someone call my name.
I’d been in town exactly three days, and someone called to greet me at HarborMarket.
Clearly I was already home.
See for yourself
Summer: Second Avenue between 54th and 56th streets
Winter: Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St.