Blackstone Street has been the heart of the Boston’s Haymarket for the past 180 years. The dynamic of the market brings a whole new experience and feel to the city from Thursday through Saturday. I observed the setup and breakdown of the market week after week and concluded that the main reason, Haymarket has lasted this long is due to do to the fact that the vendors have been able to manage and maintain a second job for themselves and their staff. Just as importantly, customers value the market and return week after week in thousands. Haymarket has persevered through difficult times yet remains vulnerable to many outside forces.
Envision, having a second occupation requiring you to show up to work at midnight every Thursday evening and work 20 grueling hours on Friday and 16 hours on Saturday with only 6 hours of rest in between. Even more daunting, Imagine showing up to work every Thursday to first build your work place only to break it apart 42 hours later. Picture strangers taking your photograph while you work without asking for your permission or sharing a copy with you. This is the life of Haymarket vendors week after week.
Liza Weisstuch of The Pheonix (Haymarket, Up Close and Personal) wrote in her column “These vendors are vanishing kind, vestiges of old-school commerce rooted in the codes of customer loyalty, family-run operations, taxing hours, and an understanding that communality trumps competition.”
The wonder of Haymarket, its rich history, importance to the fabric of Boston; the fact that irrespective of a 180-year old tradition Haymarket can be forced to close by competition or inadequate support of the city, motivated me to produce this documentary project.
My aim is to demonstrate the necessary effort and sacrifice required to run the market and hope to shed some light on the important role that Boston’s Haymarket and all similar local markets around the country play in the livelihood of its vendors, contentment of its customers, tradition they preserve and authenticity they give to the city.
HAYMARKET: Thursday through Saturday
This seven minutes timeLapse video has been shot from three angles and covers the entire operation of Haymarket from setup on Thursday to breakdown on Saturday evening.
The fate of Parcel 9 - Haymarket (Article)
The Haymarket Hotel Proposal (pdf)
The Haymarket Project - Part 1 (Video)
The Haymarket Project - Part 2 (Video)