A Front Street Flea Market

Tony Weathers
(& Harry Jackendoff, artist)

East Front Street could be an attraction. Yes, a real attraction!  How about the idea of an outdoor market along that long, unused wall behind the post office and NJN  across from Mill Hill Playhouse and of course, right across from my restaurant? Those empty walls are just a blank expression of an empty city.

This is the capital city!! We need to be innovative and out-of-the-box.  We should have walking vendors. The park is directily across the street, next to Mill Hill Theatre, which sits in front of the square with Washington’s statue commemorating the battle at the creek alongside. Did someone say historical?

We could create an open market with utility conduits, electric and water for vendors to plug into (and pay for) right down to the park. Even into the park! We could put up permanent awnings and shelving along the walls, exploding with color and an expression of the city.

But maybe the city doesn’t have to do this by itself. If we solicit support from outside green energy companies interested in Trenton’s urban revitalization, they could install solar on the NJN and Post Office roofs, generate income for them, selling energy to the city, but also allowing them to recoup the vendor fees throughout the year.

Whether an outside company sponsors it or not, the entire project would pay for itself in a few years, just based on this bustling outdoor market space rentals.  The important thing is to give more people the option  of investing their energies into several dozen new business spaces in downtown Trenton. The prospect of people working, mingling, walking from the State facilities, having something to see along the park, will keep people in town later, and keep people and lights on the street  when the theater lets out. In the spring and summer and fall, Café International will be serving its outside buffet. With an outside market across the street, we may even get a new restaurant or two opening up. Maybe even live music events!  And art? We’ve got Artworks right behind us, only a minute’s walk away!

Café International has hopes to one day convert its ground floor (opening to the rear parking lot) to a culinary school, and open the back door to the restaurant.

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