The Baltimore Market of My Memories
This Mother’s Day weekend I visited Baltimore’s Lexington Market, in remembrance of the times I went there with my mother as a toddler. I remember that I always found it to be a most frightening place, as I only saw the legs and feet of other shoppers. I remember tightly grasping onto my mother’s skirt as my younger brother and I stayed with her as she shopped.
I don’t remember exactly what groceries she usually purchased, however seeing the market displays this weekend told me that I would have been even more frightened as a toddler if I could have seen above the legs and feet of the shoppers to the iced shelves of the fishmongers’ and butchers’ products. The food items displayed this weekend brought back long forgotten memories of the dishes my mother prepared – fried scrapple, oxtail soup, crab soup, crab cakes and shad roe. Lexington Market Displays (Slide Show)
I wonder how my mother managed to get all of her purchases back home, as she did not drive? Perhaps my father picked us all up after work. Or, perhaps she travelled by street car, which was a very usual way of getting about the city in those long ago days. Then I wondered how she would have managed the street car ride with two toddlers in tow and bags of groceries. As my memories of those days are almost vanished, I can only wonder at how she accomplished all of those things in those bygone days.
I found one provender who claimed to be an old-timer at the Lexington Market. He was the man at the Muskrat-Raccoon-Alligator counter in my pictures. He began describing the way it was in the 1970s when he first arrived on the scene. I told him that my remembrances were from much earlier – like just after World War II in the 1940s. His eyes glazed over as he told me that there was no one alive today at the market who could remember back that far. It was almost as though I was speaking of the eighteenth century days, like 1782, when the Lexington Market first opened. (The Slide Show)
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