A public outdoor market in downtown El Paso ala, Los Angeles, and Seattle would raise the bar for our city.   

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I know everyone loves to rag on El Paso, but it is one of the best cities out there with a chill vibe and most recently considered one of the top 10 cities in the nation for renters, according to WalletHub.   

While other cities have their claim to fame, like San Antonio’s 'Riverwalk' and Austin proudly showing off its 'Weirdness,' El Paso is full of history, culture, and talent, and let’s not forget our cuisine is bursting with flavor.   

LEON NEAL
LEON NEAL
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Over the last couple of years, El Paso’s outdoor farmers' markets have multiplied, popping up all across the city, but wouldn’t it be amazing if we had a centralized outdoor market to find fresh produce, along with local eats, and artisans all under one roof like L.A.’s Grand Central Market and Seattle’s Pike Street Market or the Mercado in Juarez. 

I have fond and vivid memories of growing up in Los Angeles and hitting up the outdoor Grand Central Market with my grandfather, walking through booths of fresh produce, incredible food, fresh cheeses and meats, a panaderia, Aguas Frescas, and vendors selling their wares in one space.

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Downtown El Paso would be the perfect location for a public market, especially with many vacant buildings. One of those empty buildings could be an ideal spot similar to Seattle’s Pike Street Market, an outdoor market housed inside a multi-level structure.  

A few buildings come to mind, like the Caples building on E. San Antonio Avenue, the Haymon Krupp & Company building off Overland Avenue, the old Popular building, or dare I even mention in the Durangito area.   

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Iris Lopez
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I envision food and produce stands, artisan vendors, maybe a beer garden, twinkling lights, murals everywhere, and a stage to showcase local musicians and Mariachis.

Just imagine how great an open market like this would be, pulling in the city’s best vendors and artisans and attracting locals and tourists alike.  

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I realize that all this is wishful thinking but who knows, maybe one day, an open market will be part of downtown El Paso's revitalization plan, and I'll be here for it.

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