Everybody’s raving about the new Ipswich Farmers Market, and rightly so.
I was there the first two weeks, and it was pretty excellent.
All summer long, every Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., local folk are offering their local wares on the Town Common. You didn’t know we have a Town Common? Well, that’s the latest name for the wide open grassy space adjacent to the Visitor Center. This is the perfect name for it, since we already have a “North Green” and a “South Green,” and “Middle Green” is just a bit too Hobbitty. Besides, most other towns in New England have a Town Common. To be the only town in New England without a Town Common would be an embarrassment.
(Also: There’s something called The Town Common, which more or less approximates a newspaper; but it’s published in Rowley, so I say it’s high time Ipswich redeemed the name.)
At the wonderful new Ipswich Farmers Market, there are strawberries for sale, and cilantro and homemade aprons and henna tattoos and you name it. It’s casual, it’s fun. Musicians make music, Frisbees get tossed around, children blow bubbles, dogs happily lead their masters around on leashes. People do clumsy gyrations in hula hoops and laugh a lot. People hang out and talk. People drive by and see that something’s happening and they pull over and check it out. There’s free parking on the street, and all along the edge of the Common.
The Ipswich Farmers Market is a beautiful thing.
Of course, it’s also a disaster. For some of us.
What if you don’t have time to pull your car into a parking space on South Main Street and put it in park and turn off the ignition and open the door and get out and close the door and lock it behind you (because it’s such a tough neighborhood) and dodge Ipswich’s overwhelming rush-hour traffic to get over to the Common?
What if you’re on too tight a schedule to engage in pleasant, casual chit-chat and get to know the neighbors you’ve spent years living in the same town with but never learned the name of?
What if it’s not physically feasible for you to walk your bad hip from booth to booth and dodge a wayward Frisbee and angle your groin away from the nose of an inquisitive black Lab whose owner thinks it’s cute how he does that?
All of these tragic contingencies and awkward inconveniences lead me to a certain conclusion: There is only one thing missing from the marvelous new Ipswich Farmers Market.
We need a drive-through.
A drive-through solves all these problems, and maybe even more. From the comfort of your driver’s seat, with nothing but a flick of your window button, you can have your farm-fresh honey and buy your cut-fresh flowers and grab your cooked-fresh hot dog without so much as a slurp from a Shar Pei. Frisbees will bounce harmlessly off your paint job. You will be spared virtually any risk of casual chit-chat. If “community” is contagious, you will escape the Ipswich Farmers Market germ-free. All thanks to the drive-through.
It’s a shame, really, that Town Meeting didn’t approve the multi-million-dollar public safety building for the adjacent property. As part of that plan, as I understand it, they would have paved a driveway smack down the middle of the Town Common. What serendipity! It would have been far more than a simple, gleaming stripe of black asphalt slashing through the grassy field. It could have doubled as our Ipswich Farmers Market drive-through. Sometimes you cast your vote, and you just don’t foresee the sad side-effects.
P.S. If the Ipswich Farmers Market gets a drive-through, and Dunkin Donuts has a booth, will doughnuts be the only product you’re required to get out of your car for?
Doug Brendel lives so far out on outer Linebrook Road, he’s closer to the Dunkin Donuts in Rowley than to the one at Lord’s Square. However, as an Ipswich resident, he’s banned from using the drive-through. Follow this blog and get the latest from The Outsidah most Wednesdays.