Here's an unpopular opinion: I hate the Union Square Greenmarket. With a vengeance. It completely stresses me out. It brings together hordes of pushy, sanctimonious New Yorkers who'll gladly elbow you in the eye socket if you so much as dare to grab that leek before they do. Being a pushy, sanctimonious native New Yorker myself, you'd think I'd feel right at home there, but I just don't. I get all agoraphobic and irritable and start entertaining decidedly unchristian thoughts (more so than usual) about my fellow citizen. These thoughts usually involve sub-machine guns, bayonets and flame throwers.
Don't get me wrong -- I love the produce. I love the tomatoes and the bread and the greens and the fresh meats. I love the merchants -- good-natured, dedicated farmers who tirelessly drive into the city week in and week out from Upstate and Long Island and Pennsylvania. Hell, I even love Union Square itself -- it's the veritable gateway to downtown, if you will.
But it's the clientele that sets my teeth on edge, especially if I'm trying to navigate through them with a baby carriage. I've seen nicer, more considerate crowds at death metal shows. Slow-walking, self-styled culinary snobs and corpulent know-it-alls in Burbery raincoats and expensive sunglasses arguing with humble Pennsylvania Dutch farm-hands about the quality of their cucumbers. Mow them all down, I say!
My problem, however, is that my wife absolutely swears by the Greenmarket. She's loves it. Will not let a weekend go by without going there at least once. And being that I'm reaping the rewards from eating the meals she so lovingly prepares with the produce procured from same, I really don't have a leg to stand on in my arguments against it. But every time we go, she instantly notices the change in my mood (not that I'm ever exactly Captain Sunshine, but my inner Travis Bickle seems to rise quite visibly to the surface at the Greenmarket) and either rolls her eyes in "Oh for Christ's sake, get the hell over it" mode or sends me off to the Virgin Megastore across the Park until she's done (this is what happened this morning -- she got to go buy her cauliflower, and I got to go buy the newly re-mastered editions of the first two Pretenders albums -- everyone wins!) But at this point, I'm simply not allowed to stand around with her there, sneering and venting huffily about how I'd love to see the place get napalmed by Captain Kilgore's air cavalry in a fiery cataclysm while she's surveying the wheat grass selection.
And that's why I'm doing it here.