Dec 28, 2012

West Side Market at 100

As my blog archives will attest, I return to Cleveland two or three times a year, and I nearly always make a visit to the West Side Market, Stefanek Barbershop and Lucky’s Cafe, among other favorite places. I also meet up with friends Joe, Jack, Michael, Richard and John for conversation.

This morning, I drove over to the market — last month, it celebrated 100 years of operation — and checked in on Foursquare. Jack Ricchiuto was across the street at a coffeeshop, so he walked over and we walked through the market. I bought a small bottle of fish sauce, three vanilla beans, a loaf of olive bread and a small container of locally made chevre and a larger container of papaya-pineapple-mango-habanero salsa. We walked back to the coffeeshop and talked about Jack’s latest book, Agile Planning, and about my changing role in ScienceOnline. I’ve learned much about conversations and collaborations from Jack, and was once again inspired by him.

Checking Twitter, I saw that Chef Chris and Kristin Lubben were in the market. They, too, are visiting family in the Cleveland area, up from their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. We’re connected on Twitter, but had never met until Jack and I walked back in and found them waving at us. (I knew they’d be at the market, which is why I’d timed my visit for this morning.) We stood in the middle of the hall, chatting, as the market crowd streamed past. I love this historic market for its tight spaces that force strangers to bump into each other. And I love social media for giving me ways to orchestrate a rendezvous with friends old and new in those spaces.

Anton Zuiker

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