For several decades the Long Island Railroad parking lot in my hometown has generated a vivid physical response – stress.
It’s not that I don’t love my job, but I really don’t relish the trip to Manhattan. The hassles are myriad: parking challenges, snoring seatmates, sticky floors and inexplicable delays blamed on everything from “late equipment” to lightning strikes. One day on the Long Island Railroad can make even the sturdiest folks cower with fear. On Friday night, I am so ready to leave it all behind.
But now, a local food phenomenon is making the most bone-weary commuter look forward to visiting the railroad station, even early on a Saturday morning. The weekend farmers market is taking root at many LIRR stations and it’s a welcomed sight.
Centrally located along major roadways, railroad stations are becoming the new village marketplace. A recent stroll through the Saturday farmers market at the Seaford railroad station on Sunrise Highway at Washington Avenue revealed many earthly delights; young lettuce, bright red strawberries, local asparagus, pickles, crisp radishes, Long Island wine, crusty artisan bread and homemade pastries were all in great supply. Instead of stress, you can develop a healthy appetite for local food.
Railroad station farmers markets are convenient, the parking is ample, and they’re giving new life to asphalt areas that are typically underused on weekends. The choice of locations at railroad stations and other parking lots on Long Island is growing and a list can be found at the Long Island Growers Market website. Most markets are scheduled to run June through November.
T.W. Barritt blogs at culinarytypes.blogspot.com