Sunday, July 07, 2013

Agro Market, restored

The restoration of the Agricultural Market (Mercado Agrícola, was a high-profile project of the local government, carried out with a lot of help from the Spanish cooperation agency. The restored market opened last week, with a lot of publicity in the press. I went in the early morning to take a first look with my old cameras.

This is the newest iron-structure market in the city (the older ones are the Harbor Market and Abundancia). The restoration was carried out  with the objective of coming as close as possible to the original 1906 plan.

The ironwork is impressive; the restoration installed a wood layer that gives warmth, as only wood can.

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The restoration kept the old ironwork and installed new vitrals with the original colors.

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The main business of this market is fruit and vegetables. It used to be a bulk-sales market, now it is a nice retail area.  There are excelent stalls, modelled on the operation of supermarket areas: you pick your vegetables in a polyethylene bag, have it weighted, and pay. Nice to see how good practices are incorporated in traditional markets.

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But there is a lot more to the market. For instance, in the central square there is a playground with a probable tribute to Cortazar's famous work, Rayuela, which became 40-year-old some weeks ago. Nobody remembers how to play "rayuela" these days, least of all cell-phone-toting kids.

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There is a very inviting food and drinks court, in the back. This area may not rival the Harbor Market, but it is a good complement.

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What I liked best in the whole market was this old clock. According to its markings, it came from the old Yatay railway station, which was the last station before Central, close to the Bella Vista docks. The year marked, 1878, was the start of operations of the Central Uruguay Railway, a British company.  This old British time-piece may have seen a lot of history.

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I will definitely be returning to this market. Please stay tuned!

Technical: Super-Isolette, HP5+ developed in DDX.