The good ol’ Maxwell Street Market in Chicago. Look at old photos or talk to veteran locals and you’ll get the hint that the original, open-air market that was the largest in the country in its heyday has become a shadow of its former self.
There was history being made there. When blues musicians in the 30’s and 40’s played in the market, they needed to play loud enough to be heard over the noises of the market crowds. That’s when they brought in new equipment, like the amplifier and the electrified ‘Chicago Blues’ was born. And we all know where that took music…
Some decades later, sanitation, safety and regulation has its way of sucking some fun out of the experience. However, as you walk through the stretch of vendors, tool merchants, fresh producers, taco stands and quirky salesmen, the market still forms an original gem of the city today.
You’ll still find things that were obtained legally or illegally and sold at obscenely low prices that you’ll forget to ask how or where it was acquired.
Oh, and did I mention the tacos? Tacos, tacos, tacos. Amazing tacos from local vendors, with fresh ingredients, whom will come in sleet, snow or rain to serve the year-round market and its patrons.
In a place where the dollar has all the power, guests still haggle with savvy vendors over clothes, super fresh fruit, records, incense, toys, old video games, and any eclectic items you may find at a garage sale. If there is something in particular that you’re looking for, chances are the Maxwell Street Market has it. And Mixed amongst some bronze duck statues and 70’s Ebony magazines, you’ll find something you never considered purchasing before entering.