To market, to market.... / by Mario Mirabile

The Queen Victoria Market has been operating on the same site on the northern fringe of the Melbourne CBD since 1878. It's the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere, and a popular shopping destination. But it seems that providing a huge selection of food and variety goods isn't enough of a rationale for its existence any more, and the operators keep looking for ways to increase the number of visitors, and no doubt the income it generates.

One such way is a series of night markets, with both winter and a summer seasons. While some of the variety stalls operate during these sessions, the fruit & veg, meat, fish and deli operators are all absent. The main focus seems to be yet another excuse to set up an almost endless series of food stalls, together with a scattering of entertainers. While this attracts large crowds eager to sample authentic (perhaps...) ethnic delicacies, it's not the reason I make the trip occasionally. I'm much more interested in the visitors and the traders. They're much less fattening, as well.