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Santa Fe Rail Market in Fort Worth 

 a look at the Fort Worth failed 'public market' and other public markets

With great fanfare the Fort Worth mainstream press, known as the Star-Telegram, trumpeted the arrival in Fort Worth of the 'first' public market in Texas, allegedly modeled after public markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market. After reading the hype, a visit was much anticipated, with the assumption that the Santa Fe Rail Market had to be remarkable to have earned this 'first' in Texas accolade and comparisons to Pike Place. Particularly since just down Interstate 30 a short distance, in the nearby town of Dallas, there is the Dallas Farmer's Market which many visitors from Seattle have compared to Pike Place Market and which seems very much to be a public market. But apparently not the first in Texas, according to the Fort Worth main stream press. The label of first in Texas was reserved for the Santa Fe Rail Market. Both the Dallas Farmer's Market and Pike Place are busy large sprawling enterprises with great variety, Pike Place on multiple levels, open all the time--- with theaters, dozens of produce vendors, flying fish, dozens of restaurants and many street performers...so with all that in mind the Santa Fe Rail Market in Fort Worth had some rather elevated expectations to meet....

Follow-up Notes:
1. A surprising discovery since the above was written---Apparently, not only was the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Rail Market's marketing propaganda erroneous regarding the new Santa Fe Rail Market being the first Public Market in Texas, it is not even the first Public Market in Fort Worth! Photo evidence of this shocking revelation not only shows the original Fort Worth Public Market, it also shows that the State of Texas recognized the first Public Market with an Official Historical Medallion. A status the current Fort Worth Public Market will likely never achieve, except perhaps with a Historical Marker to a government boondoggle.

2. Feedback was received which indicated that Saturday was the day to check out Fort Worth's Santa Fe Rail Market to see it bustling with people, as that is the only day the Farmer's Market is open...photos from 11 am, Saturday, August 24, 2002 are viewable here...

3. As of February 2003 the predicted meltdown of the Fort Worth/Santa Fe Rail Market has begun with several vendors giving up, including the Seafoodville store noted below. Recriminations and accusations of mismanagement and misrepresentation have been directed at those responsible for the Rail Market debacle. 

4. In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article reporting on the Rail Market problems, which detailed the departure of Seafoodville and others, the Star-Telegram repeated, once more, that the Rail Market was modeled after other public markets, including Pike Place in Seattle. The Star-Telegram apparently repeats this ironic propaganda with no awareness that it is just this sort of hyperbolic exaggeration which helped turn off visitors to the Rail Market, that being the obvious difference between the Rail Market's listless reality and how it was portrayed in advertisements and in the local press with the resulting disappointment experienced when a visitor sees the grim, lame, non-public market, with no one's imagination strong enough to see a similarity between it and a massive successful tourist attraction like Pike Place in Seattle. Except those who foisted this fraud on the public and the local newspaper which continues to publish inaccuracies about it.

5. The easily predicted demise of the Santa Fe Rail Market is almost complete as of 2/1/05. The last tenant has left the building. 

Continue on for photos of the Santa Fe Rail Market...

 Downtown Fort Worth | Stockyards | Fort Worth Herd | La Grave Field | Fort Worth Flatulence 
Fort Worth Nature Preserve  |
Sante Fe Rail Market | Green with Envy | Fort Woof
Iron Horse Trail | Chisholm Trail Days | Main St. Art Fair | Stock Show | Stock Show Parade


  click a thumbnail to view a photo 

Here we see the front of the Santa Fe Rail Market at about 4 PM on a Thursday of a day in mid-August. Prime tourist season. Parking seems much more available than either the Dallas Farmer's Market, or Pike Place....

 


The Dallas Farmer's Market

This is the entry to the Dallas Farmer's Market, apparently not a Public Market, according to some and apparently not like Pike Place, except to those who've actually been to Pike Place...click the thumbnail to see more photos of the Dallas Farmer's Pike Place-like Market...


 

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Inside the bustling Santa Fe Rail Market, in the produce section....how many people can you count? How many blue garbage cans?

 

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On the left is a scene from inside Pike Place Market in Seattle, early on a Wednesday morning in August, 2001 during the height of tourist season....seems very similar to the Santa Fe Rail Market...if you really stretch your imagination to its limit...

...check out Wanda's Pike Place photos from August of 2002 to see what the first public market in Washington looks like...


 

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No flying fish here in the Seafoodville vendor in the Santa Fe Rail Market. But where could the fish fly if they were air worthy as there do not seem to be any customers....at 4 in the afternoon...

Update:
 Seafoodville has ceased selling seafood.


 
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Three Pike Place Photos

Early morning, at the place where the fish fly in Pike Place Market....the two guy's are a couple of the fish launchers as you can tell from reading what is on their shirts....the third photo in this group is a mention of Texas in the heart of Pike Place. You'll have to click the thumbnail to see what that's about...

...for more photos of the flying fish and other fish vendors at Pike Place look at Wanda's photos, taken before noon on a Wednesday. Note how busy it is. 


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A late afternoon diner enjoying the peace and quiet. Note the aesthetically pleasing garbage can. That blue plastic motif is used throughout the Santa Fe Rail Market.

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The spacious layout allows for easy browsing without bumping into any other shoppers...

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The touted Krispy Kreme outlet turned out to be one of those doughnut displays like in gas station convenience stores, not made on the premises. Here we see a couple of guys enjoying a doughnut and the Pike Place-like ambience and looking at another of those ubiquitous blue garbage cans.

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Some of the vendors resort to cut-out figures to create the illusion of shoppers. This pair of very upbeat ladies were running some sort of Made in Texas novelty store.

 


 

A week after these first Rail Market photos were taken on a Thursday in mid-August, 2002, native Seattleite, Wanda, upon reading of the FW Santa Fe Rail Market in this venue, took a photo walk through Pike Place. Wanda visited Pike Place at 11AM. If she had waited til 4PM it would be much too busy to easily take photos. Unlike the Fort Worth Public Market at 4PM...

 


Hope you enjoyed your visit to the "first Public Market in Texas, a little bit of Europe and Seattle"
right in the heart of Cowtown! Don't forget to visit the Fort Worth Farmer's Market on Saturday...


 Downtown Fort Worth | Stockyards | Fort Worth Herd | La Grave Field | Fort Worth Flatulence 
Fort Worth Nature Preserve  |
Sante Fe Rail Market | Green with Envy | Fort Woof
Iron Horse Trail | Chisholm Trail Days | Main St. Art Fair | Stock Show | Stock Show Parade

A Longhorn in Wildflowers at Lake Grapevine
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