Next week (June 18-23) marks the Reading Terminal Market‘s Renovations Dedication Week. The public is invited to join the Market as it celebrates the completion of its recent renovations with a week of special events (all of which are free) celebrating the Market and its place in Philadelphia’s vibrant food scene. To kick it all off, there will be a ribbon cutting and unveiling of a Market History Exhibit on Monday, June 18th at 10:00am in the newly created Rick Nichols Room (see the entire schedule of Dedication Week events below). So who else did we ask to write an ode to the beloved market? Well, none other than COOK’s dear friend, Rick Nichols himself.
Thirty-four years ago there was a bit of Hunger Games aspect to our weekly shopping treks to Reading Terminal Market. We lived in a third-floor walk-up loft on the corner of Third and Cherry, part of the first wave post-industrial types trickling into Old City. And, well, we soon realized that we had to eat.
No grocery stores there yet. (Though a corner grocer moved in eventually, I think on Bread Street, or Quarry.) No supermarkets. Hadn’t been a need. But 10 blocks away there was the Reading Market, shabby and beaten down, something of a no-man’s land. That gave it, frankly, a touch of romance (if you were young enough, and pushing the urban envelope). So we’d hike over there, load our brown-paper shopping bags to the brim, and hike back, the twine handles slowly gouging a grove in our fingers: You had to suffer for your supper.