We drove down to the Flea Market on Rte 5 in Holyoke today. What a depressing scene. The reason it depresses me is that so many of the vendors seem downtrodden, and they look like life has gotten the better of them. We passed by one booth and a guy was saying to another vendor, ‘this morning at 4 am, my worker didn’t show up…then my babysitter didn’t show. Oh well what are ya gonna do?’
He wore a watch cap over gnarly hair and his beard tailed down into a goat-like point at the end, with a rubber band on it. He and his wares, bric-a-brac and junk from tag sales, looked very sad. While at the market I visited another stand that featured a bunch of WWII paraphernalia, including some knives with swastikas on them. The description said ‘New German’ meaning that they were made in our time, presumably by neo-Nazis or Nazi sympathizers.
Then our spirits brightened when we got to the corner of Rte 5 and Myrtle Street. A newly-remodeled former convenience store is being made into a great looking new cafe! We pulled our car around and went in to say hello. The man behind the counter was Tony Keane, Holyoke Ward 3 City Councilor. He said he bought the building and they’d be opening soon. That’s fantastic news in cafe-starved Holyoke. They will serve coffee from Blue Moon Roasters in Springfield, and make sandwiches and fare similar to what we offer at GoNOMAD Cafe.
Holyoke only has one place to get coffee, and I refuse to go there, it’s the ubiquitous DD. This new cafe will be called the Dam Cafe, and I think residents here will flock to check it out. People love a good cafe, and in a city of almost 50,000, it’s amazing that there aren’t more of them.