Saturday, August 17, 2013

Open Air Market, Chino, California

Picture Syracuse's Farmers Market, double or triple the size, add some garage sale atmosphere, a bird-heavy petshop, and plunk it down in a Mexican border town. That's a pretty accurate vision.

Many stalls featured fresh produce, dried chilis, spices, beans, honey, and grains; flea market used tools, furniture, collectibles, and junk; custom sewn clothing - suits, prom dresses, and the like; kitchen and outdoor cooking equipment; prepared food (we splurged on enchilada dinners for a late breakfast); all types of indoor plants, landscaping plants, tropical plants, and even lime trees; boots, hats of all kinds, saddles, bridles, and halters; and quite a bit of state fair table crap. What really struck me, though, were the huge numbers and varieties of animals and birds. I think I saw every variety of non-prey bird: turkey, peacock, duck, goose, quail, chicken, finch, lovebirds, cockatiel, budgie, and enormous parrots. The market was full of bird sounds. My guess is there were two dozen birdsellers or more there. There were bunnies, guinea pigs, turtles, iguanas, lizards, and fish. The food court even had an Elvis impersonator singing in the shaded courtyard.

The temp was in the 80s by 10:30 local time, and we were frying in the sun. We tried a frozen Mexican fruit bar (coconut for me, strawberry for Hoss), but we were no match for the quickly increasing heat, so we had to retreat to the a/c of the car. It was lots of fun, though, and I hope to come back some day - with my good camera!

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