Stories at the Public Market

Rochester’s Public Market has been operating since 1905 and won the 2010 title for America’s Favorite Farmer’s Market. It’s a vibrant place full of all sorts of food, prepared and fresh, buskers, artists, and on this past Saturday, a Storychick!

It was maybe 50 degrees out in Rochester on Saturday, gray and threatening rain. The rule of thumb at the market (which I did not find out until I got there) is that it will be 10 degrees colder there. The wind whipped through from the Northwest, bitter bitter cold.  I did not dress for the weather.

I froze a bit as I set out to gather stories for the Rochester Stories project. I was worried that it would be a bust. Because of the cold, I totally forgot to take any pictures live. Kicking myself on that one, I’ll have to wear the camera to remind myself next time.


It actually turned out to be quite successful! People read my sign, made comments, were curious. I actually got almost a dozen people to pause in their shopping in the crazy cold, half of them sat and told me their stories, others took my information so they could think about it and get back in touch. I gathered stories from across the city – part of my goal in tapping the diversity of market shoppers.

Most who heard the spiel about the project identified with the concept and agreed that stories could bring the city together. Perhaps simply gathering the stories will make progress on the road towards more open and receptive neighborhoods!

I hope to have another opportunity to listen to the stories of market shoppers. The project is moving forward nicely and I look forward to keeping you up to date on how it comes together.



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