Smile Politely

The Market Watch: May 19, 2012

So everyone is safely graduated and ensconced in their summer sublet or is living it up, summer-style, in their usual digs, correct? It totally feels like summer out there, even though it’s May. And the best thing to do on a summery Saturday morning is head to Urbana’s Market at the Square over at the corner of Illinois and Vine from 7:00 a.m. to noon. It just feels good to roll out of bed at a respectable hour and go, all sleepy-eyed and sporting your favorite t-shirt (and shorts, too, don’t be gross), ready to pick out some food for the weekend/into next week and maybe some breakfast to bring to the slackers back home. Back in the olden times, MW did just this — get up, find Market-appropriate clothing, grab tote bags, buy food and baked goods, and redistribute to the slackers at home, which at that time included a spouse and two young children. Occasionally, we would all return as a family. There are lots of ways to enjoy the Market, y’know?

Lots of artisans, prepared food, performing artists, and community organizations will also be putting in some face time at the Market this weekend, as they do every weekend. Jewelry, upcycled clothing, paintings, prints, woodwork, and textile items — there’s some great stuff out there this year. Space is tight and that’s a good thing; that means there’s more choices for patrons, so shop the whole damn place. Give some love to Crave Truck, who’ll be in Row 5, serving up the best in mobile sweet and savory waffles. Kettle corn (now relocated to the north end of the Market) will also be lurking at the north end of the Market, tempting passersby.

It’s worth mentioning yet again that the City tent, where you can swipe your credit, debit, or LINK card for tokens to spend in the Market (fear not, everyone still accepts cash), will be located in the intersection of Walnut and High Streets — that’s the corner by Health Alliance, near the northwest entrance to the Market. There’ll no longer be through traffic there during Market hours to keep things safe for folks traveling on foot between the Market and various Lincoln Square businesses. We hear that last week’s patrons really appreciated this safer and unburdened access to Lincoln Square, which is fantastic. The parking situation will remain the same, too, with the same number of free public parking spaces available in Lincoln Square and south of Lincoln Square. Plenty of bike parking, too, for the two-wheel set.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny, with a 7:00 a.m. start temperature in the low 60s and a noon temperature in the mid-80s. It’s going to be warm on the pavement. There’s no threat of rain, and there appears to be no threat of clouds, either. Have a look at the weather here.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET TIP: Prepare for the weather. Weather is a Big Deal at the Market. No one loves rain or heat or cold, but with a little extra preparation, patrons can enjoy the Market in just about any weather, even those who like to hang out at the Market and socialize. On sunny and/or hot days, like the one we’re looking at for tomorrow, slap on some sunscreen before you leave the house and bring your own water. You might even want to wear a hat. Trust us, these things will help extend your stay at the Market. Also, if you’re buying stuff that needs to stay cool, bringing a couple of those inexpensive insulated thermal bags is a good idea. 

One last thing — the Market’s offering up its first installment of Sprouts at the Market this weekend. The activity, as it is each May, is seed-planting for kids. Bring your favorite Sprout between 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and Market staff will hook them up with supplies to plant their very own sunflower for your garden. More info can be found here — they’re on Facebook, too.

Have questions? Desire more information? Check out the Market’s home on the web. Follow them on Facebook. Follow their Twitter and Pinterest feeds. You can also email the Market’s director, Lisa Bralts, for more info ,or at 217-384-2319.

Market weekend #3! See you out there.

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