Friday, May 16, 2014

Decorate Me A Mouse

I live around the corner from Cuenca's flower market.

This isn't anything like New York's Fulton Fish Market. That covers 400,000 square feet, and it's full of dead animals.

Cuenca's flower market covers maybe a tenth of an acre, roughly 4000 square feet, or 0.04 hectare. That's about right. And it isn't fancy.

It's an open-air place, on a corner, between the blue-domed Catedral de la Inmaculada and El Carmen de la Asunción, and is called, according to my map, either Plazoleta del Camen or Parque de la flores, or both.

What's notable about it is how low-key it is. There are roughly a dozen square white canvas pavilions, each sheltering one female vendor. That woman sits or stands in the shaded middle, surrounded by her wares. People go by. Morning arrives .The sun climbs into the sky, and again declines. Rain showers pass by. Day comes and goes.

At night the pavilions remain in place, some surrounded by fencing, and others seem to be bound by line. I'm not absolutely clear on this since I don't go out at night, but have been out early. Today I went by there within kissing distance of six a.m., a half-hour before sunrise, in the near-dark, and people were already at work.

Once they're set up, the place is a riot of color. Most flowers come in tight arrangements, in shallow bowls. A few are sold loose, but this is no slipshod operation — all the flowers are well-presented. The vendors know their goods, how to present them, and what their customers want. Each seller is solidly walled in by by her flowers, hundreds of them, professionally set out.

And there are a few benches there, and a few trees, a major park a block away, and a major market a half-block in the other direction. It is always busy.

I'm glad I'm here.

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