California Forum

Farmers market location is well rooted

Sacramento’s farmers market is at Eighth and W streets, under the freeway.
Sacramento’s farmers market is at Eighth and W streets, under the freeway. Sactown Magazine

Sacramento’s freeway farmers market location works really well for me. I don’t know if the writer, Rob Turner, has noticed, but when it’s hot, the market stays cool, thanks to the ample shade, access to breezes and tons of cement between the market and the sun. (“Our farmers market needs replanting”; Forum, Aug. 2.) When it’s rainy – if that ever happens again – the market is still a pleasant place to shop, with alternating bands of wet and dry.

Given the traffic on the freeway, it’s surprisingly quiet, again thanks to the tons of sound-absorbing cement. Parking seems adequate, and access is simple, if busy. I’m pretty sure any location would be busy. Bike access is good. One has to be careful crossing W or X Street, but when is that not the case? Writing about the “invisible coating of exhaust” seems like hyperbole to me. I never smell exhaust at the market.

What I really like about the market seems to be exactly what Turner complains about: its workmanlike lack of fluff. Yes, I do my shopping and skedaddle. I don’t want my aura read (hello Oakland market) or to feel like I need to make a day of my visit. I connect with the farmers and vendors, learn about their offerings, choose what I need and move on. There’s no empty attempt to make it into a “destination.” The last thing I want is another shopping mall experience.

I’ve read that there are quite amazing plans in the works for wraparound murals on the walls and columns. But please let us keep the down-to-earth vibe of our unique location. Just like Sacramento, janky enough to welcome all to live the dream.

Sheryl Leamer is a muralist and decorative artist who lives in Sacramento.