Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Eating at Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

When you visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Reading Terminal Market should be on your obligatory visit list. You can find almost anything to eat there! The Market occupies the ground floor and basement levels of the Reading Railroad's former train shed and terminal, which was built up above the street level. The railroad part of the terminal was abandoned for many years, but the city revived the amazing shed and converted it into a convention center in the 1990s. Nice work!, especially in light of how many similar engineering monuments were destroyed in other cities in the mid-late 20th century during greedy and misguided disasters of urban renewal.  One infamous example: New York's Pennsylvania Station was demolished to build the cheesy Madison Square Garden.

According to an interesting article in Wikipedia, the Market was one of the first in the USA to include a state-of-the-art refrigerated storage area in the basement. The refrigeration system used brine water and ammonia operated by specially designed pumps, compressors, and other equipment.

This is the convention center and example of the amazing steel truss system that holds up the roof. Thirteen tracks once occupied this area, which now has a marble floor.

From the street level, the market dies not look like much, but the inside contains the emporium of gastronomic excellence and calorific excess. Readers of this blog know I love farmer's markets in all their varieties (Athens, Kathmandu).

The tradition of the farmers' market lives on! Peppers, cherries, corn - whatever you need. (The colors are a bit off because I did not have time to adjust a custom white balance.)

If you want some fish or meat, you can select as much as you want.

This is a cheese-lovers emporium.

Coffee-flavored soda?

Sandwich spreads of mysterious ingredients or buffalo eggs? Come and get them.

I prefer the olive oil varieties.

These are the bee wax products.

Finally, everyone's favorite: the chocolates.

Really, most people come here to eat and socialize and achieve calorie input.

Finally, at night, the crowds are gone and the market cleans up.

Photographs: 2008: Fuji F31fd digital camera. 2012: Panasonic G1 digital camera with color adjustments made in Silkypix Developer Studio 3.0 SE.

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