As the doors are opened, customers are immediately assaulted with a barrage of noise. The brick exterior of the market does a grand job of keeping the noise of the hustle and bustle of the Auburn Curb Market inside its own boundaries. Among the noise is the soft roar of the crowd, sneakers squeaking against the cement floor, and the saw of the butchers cutting meat.
A walk around will expose food enthusiasts to a large variety, from butchers that boast “whole hogs” sold and farmers selling fresh produce to more modern stores such as coffee shops and multiple burger restaurants. The smell of these places is a strong mix of all of these, which makes for a very pungent odor, likely due to the fact that the entirety of the market is indoors, leaving no exit for air, which, in turn, causes the air and smells of all of the restaurants and shops to culminate into one.
The people that occupy the market themselves are interesting. I was surprised to note the diversity of the customers, from people that appeared to be lower income to people that were clearly upper middle class. The great diversity of customers was very close in comparison to the diversity of shops, which as diverse in product as they were in price.
It is of importance to note that I went to the market on a weekend, which is likely the time at which this particular market is busy. It is very likely that if one were to go to the market at a different time or date, the crowd would likely be thinner, creating a different experience to the one I had myself.
Towards the exit, a very modern coffee shop with glass windows boasts a large selection of coffee on a blackboard that sits behind the cashier. The contemporary design of this store is emphasized when juxtaposed with the store which lies directly to its right, the aforementioned farmers market with a rustic presentation.
On the outer rim area of the market was a Seafood shop. The shop itself smelled very strong, but with some distance, the odor faded. A pillar, placed quite inconveniently in the middle of the store, boasted bright posters on all sides stating that the store accepts food stamps as payment.
In the center of the market was a Farmer’s market. The various vegetables and fruits all smelled of dirt, as if they had been freshly harvested. Among the produce were potatoes, carrots, and, most predominantly, watermelon. The products themselves were in crates atop what seemed to be stands, a very classic, almost rustic, design choice for displaying vegetables and fruits.
The crowd itself consisted of many different types of people. Both people that appeared middle class as well as lower class roamed the aisles of the market in search of food. Not a single store seemed to be devoid of activity as the crowd was dispersed throughout the market, save for a few stores around the rim of the market.
As I first entered the market, one of the first things I noticed was the loud roar of the area itself. The crowd talked amongst itself and to people that own the stores they were shopping at. The high-pitched squeak of people with sneakers rubbing them against the stone floor. The most distinguishing sound was that of the butchers’ saws. They made a high pitched sound as they cut through meat.