Wednesday, October 31, 2007

17th Street Market

Most people have heard of it, but many still haven't ventured into the industrial area east of downtown to search for 17th Street Market. Once you find it, you will become another convert spreading the exciting news about this amazing place.

Are you looking for fresh fish, organic coffee and produce, or exotic ingredients for your Asian, Mexican, Indian, Jamaican or MIddle Eastern recipe? How about that bizarre Mexican blue parrot fish in the photo? Food is not supposed to be blue! More appealing is the beautiful yellow tail snapper from Brazil, with its pink body and longitudial yellow stripe making it look more like candy than a fish. Imported toys, dishes, tea sets, clothing and cooking supplies make this market a miniature of the famous Uwajimaya of the Pacific Northwest.

Who knew there were so many weird kinds of canned mushrooms? This place is a sensory delight.

But I don't think Uwayimaya has a complete music store. At 17th Street Market, you can buy a guitar, mandolin, ukelele, percussion instrument or thumb piano. Check out the extensive collection of world music CDs and books.

The market jumps every Saturday with a World Music concert from 11:30 to 3:30. This Saturday would be a great time to check out 17th Street Market because my pal and house-buying client Gary Mackender will be there with his fabulous band The Carnivaleros. Gary's the ring leader, abusing the squeeze box and playing original compositions in the Tex/Mex, Cajun, and folk genres. Actually, Carnivaleros defies description, but you can be assured that it is a lot of fun. Gary's band is an ever changing crew of some of Tucson's best musicians. You never know which of his saxophone, fiddle, guitar, bass or drum playing cohorts he'll have with him, but it's always a treat to see The Carnivaleros.

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