One of Smith's first priorities on the job is likely to be awarding a substantial contract to manage three city-owned parking facilities but he said he has bigger plans to revamp the 322-year-old French Market, including the farmers and flea markets.Sounds great. But wasn't that the point of the last big re-vamp? Whatever happened with that?
"This is such a jewel for the city and it's just been so horribly mismanaged for so long," Smith said. "It needs someone to come in there and do the right thing and just be honest and transparent and forthright."
First, Smith said he would like to see a return of fresh produce and seafood to the French Market.
"I remember as a kid going down and getting big slices of watermelon and there was this guy who would roast corn," Smith said. "You could go and make a legitimate grocery shopping trip."
It's not as easy to have a consistent supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in Louisiana where farmland isn't as abundant as it is in Madison, Wis., Smith said, but there's no reason there can't be a permanent stall selling citrus from Plaquemines Parish or a shrimp truck parked outside the market six days a week.
"Maybe we partner with the Crescent City Farmer's Market or the Hollygrove Market and have one per week or a daily feature where a different farmer comes in every day," Smith said. "The French Quarter at its core is a neighborhood where people live and work and eat so let's make a market that the residents can use."
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Yet another French Market reboot
Seems like we come across this existential crisis once every couple of years.