Sunday, January 20, 2013

This Little Piggy Went to the Market

Started as an open air marketplace in 1840, Cleveland's West Side Market houses over 100 vendors representing a panoply of ethnic foods. The yellow brick markethouse, shown here on the left, was designed by Benjamin Hubble and W. Dominick Benes, was built in 1912.

Growing up in Cleveland, the market was a place that we would occasionally venture to as a family and later, when I was a young adult, the place that I went for my weekly groceries. When I was in town over the holidays I stopped in at the market for New Year's Eve dinner.

Of course, there are some things that I'm just simply not going to eat. Take the pig head, for example. That was one particularly delicacy that I wasn't going to have wrapped to go. I couldn't help but to take a picture of him. Despite the somewhat grotesque nature of the image, it brings a smile to my face. As a young child (and teen, and young adult) my mother would frequently chase me around the grocery store with all manner of animal parts. Not paying attention? A pig foot would scratch my the back of my neck. In a good mood? Perhaps a floppy cow tongue might start telling jokes.

The least I could do is take a picture of porky the pig and smile a bit remembering my mom's antics in the grocery store. Clearly, this little piggy that went to the market is not going to be going wee wee wee all the way home.

Rumor has it that the animals are butchered right under the market. My high school horn teacher, Sandy Baxter, had a variety of interesting jobs that helped supplement her musical career. She once worked in the basement of the market butchering pigs.

Thankfully she never chased me around with pig parts when I played wrong notes. Here are a few more pictures I took at the Westside Market when I was their this New Year's Eve. After the page break you'll find some links to newspaper articles that collect shopper's memories as well as a couple of YouTube clips.


1930s -- Oil cloth shopping bags, live chickens and free weiners for kids. (Note: is free stuff at the market a Cleveland thing? Whenever I went to the grocery store with my mother I'd get a free cookie, slice of cheese, or other piece of deliciousness. Did this happen everywhere? Does it still happen?)

1940s -- Ice cream on dill pickles, dad's Limburger, and a free lunch.

1950s -- Seeing whole rabbits, finding a port in a storm and eating fresh break and butter while riding in dad's '51 Chevy.

1960s -- How grandpa loved brats, how Carl Stokes shook a hand, and how squiggly the fish looked.

1970s -- Johnny's hot dogs satisfy countless shoppers.

...and a couple videos for those of you seeking extra edge in all things related to Irreverent Psychologist Trivia.


  1. LOL Yours truly was a unique childhood!

    ...and yes, free cookies are still given to children at the grocery store where I shop (this fact annoys one of my inner littles greatly! she doesn't understand why she doesn't get a cookie. behooves me to steer clear of the bakery.)

    1. Just yesterday I was suspiciously eyeing a box of cookies at the counter that said "parents, help your children to a free cookie." I debated whether I could swipe one without being noticed..and if I was noticed if I could quickly borrow a nearby child and pretend that the cookie was for them...

    2. Sounds like a plan! Though, it'd be my luck I'd pick the kid who'd shout "She's not my mommy" & I'd be banned from the bakery for life! *looks for pre-verbal tot*

    3. We might consider a disguise to prevent being banned from the bakery.

    4. Hmmm.... thinking.... Dress up like a pregnant woman. If we have one bun in the oven, it stands to reason we have other little ones running loose throughout the store.

      Oooooo! Better yet, buy one of those child leashes that were so popular a few years back. If we're caught taking a free kiddie cookie, hold up the leash, look exasperated and exclaim, "Not again!"

      :D I am so going to get a free cookie!

      - releasing lunacy

    5. Oh great. Now I am going to be charged with contributing to the irreverency of a Floridian if we keep this up.

    6. Yeah... you may want to lay low for a while. Massachusetts is already on Florida's radar because of a certain A. Rascal who keeps visiting from Mass. :o)

    7. Thought you'd like to know. I'm facing charges of irreverent behavior and impersonating a parent and/or child!! I got caught trying to get into the cookie jar! (I was much better at this when I was six!)

      There I was strolling down the aisles of my local grocery store acting almost entirely like a responsible grownup. Then it happened. The frozen food section empties into the bakery, which I usually steer clear of on account of my cookie addiction.

      But, I got to giggling to myself. I'm sure a particularly dopey look settled on my face. Cookie. *giggles* Dr. Jason *giggles* being irreverent *giggles* So, I decide to go for it! I walk myself up to the counter like I was the parent of a small child, grabbed the bit of paper they offer to take a cookie and... um... huh... um... I heard, "I'll get that for you ma'am."


      That clear plastic cookie container opens from the back!

      IT'S A TRAP!

      I did get my sugar cookie w/ the pretty sprinkles though. :P

      ~ rl