I said this in my blog post from 2015, the Broadway Market has been a staple in my childhood. Growing up on Fillmore my family and I would frequent the Market on what seemed to be a weekly basis stopping at the comic book stand (Blind Eddie’s) to pick up the latest Betty and Veronica comic on the corner of Fillmore and Broadway afterwards. Since moving to the suburbs in my junior high years we still would visit the Market but not as often. Fast forward to my adult life now and I visit it multiple times a year and with this week being Holy week I am there a couple times within just a few days.
Seeing the Market back in the 1980’s-1990’s and comparing it to now - my oh my how it has changed, I can only imagine how it was when it first opened. From being a place that people would make a part of there daily and weekly routines to now only visiting during the Easter season, it makes me thankful for the time I was able to see it really active.
The Market was created “As immigrants flocked to the east side of Buffalo in the late 1800’s. They looked for the continuation of old world customs in their new and unfamiliar environment. While they wanted to enter the mainstream of city life, they also sought to preserve their Eastern European traditions and heritage. The Broadway Market would prove to serve these needs quite well.” (The Broadway Market -History).
“Started by a group of citizens on a city donated parcel at 999 Broadway in 1888, the Broadway Market quickly became a community meeting place–a place ideal for combining business with socializing and for sharing with one another the latest in gossip and news from the old world. “ (The Broadway Market - History).
As people visit the Market during this week to pick up their traditional Easter pieces, it makes me think what is being done during the rest of the year to help activate the Market. I know last summer they tried to host a series of farmers markets, how successful was that I’m not quite sure. In a news piece Spectrum News posted on 4/14/19 it sounds like plans to make improvements are in the works and over the course of the next couple of years visitors should be able to see those improvements, hopefully calling people to visit more often than just during Holy week.
Visiting my friend Shanna in Milwaukee this past Fall she took us to Milwaukee Public Market - a gathering place where people can eat, get fresh food and even take a cooking class from time to time. To have something like that in Buffalo I think would be great and I think taking ideas from that Milwaukee Public Market and applying to the Broadway Market may be what it needs to reactivate and reinvigorate that area on Broadway and the Market in general. Right now in my opinion Its the dedicated vendors who have been there for decades and the families who are passing down there traditions to the younger generation that keep the Broadway Market thriving. Hopefully if the City invests in the East Side and allots money for improvements in the Market it will last for many more years to come, I guess only time will tell. Maybe its because its been a part of my life, but I feel that at the end of the day the elected officials need to invest more time and efforts in seeing the Market improve.
Lastly here is a shameless plug - follow me on Instagram as I visit the Market this week and come visit me on Monday, I’ll be one of the judges for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa contest at the Market beginning at noon. Come join in the Dyngus Day festivities.
A special thank you to Aniela Baj from Council Member, Fillmore District David Franczyk’s office and Beverly McLean, President of the Friends of the Broadway Market District, for providing me with information for this piece.