Hollywood Farmers Market Fate Remains a Question Mark

The fate of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market at Selma and Ivar is still one big question mark, as aptly symbolized by the market’s homepage.  As you recall, the market is in a turf war with the LA Film School: the school specifically wants the market off of the Ivar section between Selma and Sunset so it can access one of its three disconnected parking structures on Sundays; the market says doing so will unacceptably chop off one of its vital arms.  Until now, the market was operating on a week-to-week basis, but, after something akin to a summit between all interested parties on Thursday, the city “verbally committed” to giving SEE-LA (the non-profit arm that operates the market) a 90-day extension on its street closure permit.  Accordingly, the market can continue to operate as-is for the next three months.  During this reprieve, both sides will do their homework: SEE-LA will “work with the Department of Transportation to research alternative market layouts on adjacent streets, […] and could present the opportunity for the market to expand” while the film school “will consider construction options to connect its parking structures and provide access to their facilities 24/7.”

As it turns out, there are others outside the film school interested in seeing the market move from its current location at Selma and Ivar.  During a KCRW discussion on the dispute, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance president Kerry Morrison pointed out that the farmers’ market moved into Hollywood some 20 years ago when there was not a whole lot going on in the area.  Now, the “renaissance of Hollywood has breathed life into different pockets” of the area, including the market’s current location.  “How long can this market continue to survive in a economically vital area?”  she asked.  She then suggested that the market move to, uh, help? bring about a renaissance in other parts of Hollywood:  “[T]here are pockets of Hollywood that would benefit, and could really thrive, with the revitalization of having vendors and pedestrians and just life on a Sunday morning.”  This brings up the question of what, exactly, is the role of a farmers’ market in our community, and whether we all should invest in the idea of a nomadic market, one that moves every few years once its function as an ad hoc gentrifier is completed.

After talking about the market’s role in revitalizing the Hollywood area, she noted (as the film school has, in other outlets) that the school invested some $65 million in Hollywood.  This is something I suppose we to feel very grateful for, so let’s all thank the film school.  Now, if this post were a script, that statement would be followed by a bracketed direction right about here:

[A BEAT, THEN AN EYEROLL]

Other interesting tidbits from the discussion: the Jack-in-the Box at Ivar and Sunset also is against the market’s permit renewal.  Unless it really does work something reasonable out, then, the city is in a tricky position of restricting fast food restaurants in South LA with the intent to force feed residents market fresh food on one hand, and having to accomodate a fast food restaurant’s demands to shut down a source of market fresh food on the other.

After all this fear and protest about the market as we know it being shut down or truncated, wouldn’t it be a little ironic if this whole situation actually gave the market a chance to expand, with the inclusion of more vendors and the ability to accommodate more people, as Morrison suggested, and as SEE-LA referenced in its announcement?   Market supporters were close to throwing heirloom tomatoes at the film school for its terrible performance in handling this situation; nonetheless, if we do end up with a bigger, better market, well, it will be school that we’ll have to credit.  Better hold on to those tomatoes, for now.

3 Replies to “Hollywood Farmers Market Fate Remains a Question Mark”

  1. When I worked in Long Beach the local Friday farmers market was the best part of the work week: close to the office, great vendors and large enough to provide a really good variety.
    Redevelopment came in and it was moved here, there and finally (past four years) landed in semi-open space and streets next to a Walmart. Not the best of all possible worlds, not even close and the number of vendors has declined and my favorite vendors not to be found at all.
    I had written Mr Garcetti in support of the Hollywood market (I don’t live in that district) citing the business it does bring into the area and citing the cultural and social aspects of the market as well, which cannot be measured in dollars.
    As far as other businesses now wanting to put pressure on the market to be moved, come on people, it’s one day a week. They self-police, clean up after themselves…what other Hollywood activity can make that same claim? What were the costs for the Hollywood Christmas parade? How did that really benefit the enire community? Bike riders wants the streets for their purposes–well, people who favor food direct from the growers have needs too and a lot of small markets can’t take the place of one large, very inclusive one.

  2. It would be a Very Good Thing if Hollywood “Farmers” Market gets shut down. I have zero interest what happens to it. The manager was the dumbest cluck I’ve come across.
    a.) She allowed ANYone to sell
    b.) She allowed anyone to play “music”

    –Shoppers had to yell –over the “musicians” –manager refused to turn out any or to tell them to lower the volume –on the AMPS. Stupid.

    I saw people selling at the market who got “their” produce from the MART –downtown –NOTHING to do with growing –farming it themselves. “Organic” –at Hollywood also un-funny joke; jerks just “claimed” whatever, to jack up the price. I TOLD manager, several times, she had NON-farmers and scam “organic” sellers; she just starred at me; said:
    ‘everyone else is happy.’ –I’d TRY to warn those eagerly scooping up the “summer” junk, they didn’t listen either. NOW anyone who saw Joel Grover’s pieces on KNBC knows –the truth.

    Though I could tell who was legit, who was ag corporate employee, I stopped going there over five years ago. I want Actual organic, from the farmer..

    Buyers: have paid a lot of money to giant ag corporate “farmers” for produce loaded with chemicals, pesticide -insecticide -herbacide -growth hormones, at Hollywood “farmers” Market. –It’s earned the kharma to get shut down. I hope it does.

    If new people WITH ethics, standards start up a new market around Hollywood: Where’s the bad?

    IS that “farmers” Market apple –“organic”? Put it on the counter; in a week –is it “fine” –looks okay? Then it is suspect. After another week: still pretty, looks good to eat? It’s loaded with chemicals. No, pesticide can’t be washed off.

    For anyone looking for Something to do: http://silverlakedavine.blogspot.com/2010/12/silver-lake-davine-december-fun.html

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