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.