I walk past, around, through this busy market and intersection every day. On my way to the bus stop in the morning, I run over the cobblestones to beat the light, and then I weave through the flower market, surrounded by men unloading trucks and emptying vases of water on the sidewalk, women arranging bouquets and weaving traditional wreaths. Everything is fresh, moving, bright.
Inside the market, babusyas shaded by umbrellas sell vegetables, whole animals, homemade salads and pickles, handpicked berries, fresh eggs and milk, apricots from Spain. Tiny shops sell cookies, baking supplies, and cuts of meat. There are tables of sausages and “home” cheese, and old women standing with jars of fruit, calling softly to each passerby to try a piece. They love to talk; they tell me about daughters and grand-daughters studying in America, how prettily I speak Ukrainian, that their strawberries and cherries are fresh and sweet.