Eating habits in our communities have drastically changed. The most obvious evidence of this is the consistently bare shelves in the local supermarket.
Going out to do our weekly grocery shopping I wander the isles and make note of empty store shelves that were never empty before. There is a theme in those empty shelves, a pattern that reveals that how we eat has changed in substantial ways.
One of the first things to disappear from our local grocery were what I consider comfort foods… Boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, tins of biscuit dough, and that Hawaiian favorite SPAM. In those early days of stay at home orders people bought foods that were familiar from childhood, offering a reassurance of normalcy, at least in the kitchen.
The Waikoloa Village Association has been looking for ways to arrange activities for the community lately. The Waikoloa Stables are a good facility for community events, a fair amount of parking, bathrooms, and a large lawn to accommodate a crowd.
Our star party last fall was successful enough. While the crowd for the star party was good, it was nowhere near the crowd attending the recent night markets.
This last Friday was the second of the night market events, and it was simply jammed. No surprise, all of the area food vendors were there. Good food plus more than a few booths of arts, crafts, plenty to come for.
I came in for dinner on the way home from work. Deb had let me know she would be in Kona for a while and I was on my own.
Traveling Central America offers a wide range of photographic opportunities, but few offer the concentrated view of local culture that is offered by a city market. A real market is something that has been lost in the US, long ago pushed aside by supermarkets and shopping malls. A central location, filled with small shops or simply stalls, where one can buy everything they need. These markets still exist in much of the world.
A market brings everything together in one place, the very character of the country. The people of the region, produce and tropical fruits, the goods and services of everyday life. You can spend hours in a few city blocks, wandering and shooting, a good photo around every corner and down every dim alleyway between the stalls. From vegetable stalls to cobblers and barbers plying their trades, cell phone accessories and racks of colorful shoes, everything is on sale here.
Markets are public spaces, a place where people take little notice of the camera and seldom object to being photographed, where your wanderings will draw little attention, except perhaps from peddlers hoping to make a sale.