For two decades, the open air Hollywood Farmers Market has been a wonderful place to gather fresh organic produce; farm foods like honey, eggs and meats; fesh flowers; native landscape plants, and delicious snacks–as well as running into familiar faces, famous or not. (Paparazzi politely keep their distance).
But the market which runs between Hollywood and Selma, Cahuenga and Ivar–the success of which helps fund other farmers’ markets from Watts to Atwater–is threatened by LA Film School on Ivar and Sunset which now wants secondary access to its parking structure on Sundays. Unless an agreement can be reached, starting next week, the farmers’ market will lose the use of Ivar Ave.
LA Film School’s second parking ramp is blocked on Sundays for nine hours; one ramp is still available. The farmers market permit is up for renewal, and the LAFS has requested that the permit not be renewed. KABC reports:
Shoppers are signing petitions to keep the market on Selma and Ivar. But Sustainable Economic Enterprises of L.A. (SEE-LA), the non-profit group that runs the Hollywood farmers market, needs the support of at least half the businesses and residents in the neighborhood. [Emphasis mine]. SEE-LA says the L.A. Film School on the corner of Ivar and Sunset is opposed.
So in other words, locals only: Even though this is treasure enjoyed by the city as a whole and tourists who visit year round, it is very much a neighborhood, in-their-backyard issue. But there is a meeting with city officials tomorrow…
Every weekend the internationally renown Hollywood Farmers’ Market draws between 8,000 to 10,000 people who pay for street and structure parking–helping the city budget through parking fees and taxes. They buy locally grown, organic food, often at costs far below supermarket prices, and support local artists and vendors. And they shop at other local businesses. The farmers market is one of the vital tools in the resurrection and continued strength of Hollywood.
Maybe for one day a week, on Sundays, the film school students attending classes and their instructors can be allowed to park say at Arc Light or another neighboring building, rather than shutting down a vital part of community for their own convenience. I wonder how many of those students and instructors live in Hollywood proper, close enough to be impacted by the market, and wonder as well if the film school is the deciding vote in the matter.
I wonder how the local religious groups are voting? There are plenty of them bunked and doing business walking distance from the market, churches and offices. One would think they would be thrilled to have local, fresh, organic food available for their staff and parishioners. The religious non-profits pay far lower property taxes than surrounding businesses and hopefully see the good-will advantage of supporting the market. Only meanies would vote against this, right?
It’s sad that the Hollywood Farmers Market–one of the major factors in the growth of the Hollywood area, helping to attract mega-food retailer Trader Joe’s just one block away–soon may be homeless.
Rather than conjuring vision of long tracking shots and seamless screenplay transitions, L.A. Film School’s name now may bring to mind lost tamales and red chard, an absence of apples, oranges and pistachio flour, and recall for us that lovely slow Sundays were sacrificed to a secondary access driveway.
Something’s fishy. And it’s not not oyster monger, either.
Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), a nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to providing local food sources and food security, nutrition education, microenterprise incubation and related services to our surrounding community.
NBC news detailed the transgressions of several Los Angeles-area market vendors, showing footage of them purchasing vegetables from mainstream bulk produce sellers and then passing the crops off as locally grown…Jay Van Rein, a spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said the expansion of the Farmers’ Market sector to include more than 700 markets with 2,200 growers statewide has made it high time for a review of California’s so-called direct to market rules.