I just discovered the upstairs patio at the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax & 3rd as a quaint place to write. First, let’s state the obvious: You can sit there all day because just downstairs is just about any food/drink you could ever want, as well as restrooms. Not to mention you can write and get all your grocery shopping done in one trip, especially if you are willing to walk across the street to Trader Joe’s. You’d think the noise level might be annoying, but actually, it’s relatively quiet up there, maybe because all the umbrellas above the vendors absorb the sound. In the market below there is just enough action going on to create some mostly pleasant white noise upstairs, but not so much that one can’t concentrate. If you have Tinnitus as I do, it’s a great place to write because the white noise drowns out the ringing, but even my fellow writer who doesn’t have Tinnitus said it was quite pleasant.
You can find the upstairs patio by looking for the ‘More Tables’ signs on the North side of the market. There are stairwells on either side of Kip’s Toyland that lead to the upstairs patio.
If you don’t prefer to write by hand, you better come with a fully-charged laptop because I could only find two outlets. The outlets work, though. One is on the east side of the patio near the administrative offices. The other is one the Northwest corner. My suggestion? Be neighborly and bring an extension cord so you can share. Remember when mommy used to yell at you for not sharing?
This upstairs patio is not fancy, but it has a very LA feel. I don’t know what that means exactly other than I just feel it. Maybe it’s because you sit eye-level with the top of a palm tree and there are black and white photos of celebrities on most of the walls, or maybe it’s just because the Farmers Market is a Los Angeles landmark. The chairs are fine for an afternoon of writing and just uncomfortable enough to keep you from falling asleep. The tables and floors are kept quite clean for an efficiently outdoor patio (it has a roof, but there are open-air windows). It would be an excellent place to hold a meet-up or any small meeting.
I was there on a weekday (Wednesday late morning/afternoon), and it was surprisingly uncrowded. If you sit near the administrative offices, then there is a classroom right across from you. You can’t hear what is going on in there, but every once in a while a meeting lets out, and it gets loud for about 10 minutes. It’s not too annoying, and they say all kinds of wonderful things like “take it easy” and “one moment at a time, man.” If that bothers you, sit on the opposite side of the patio.
As far as parking, make sure you park in the Farmers Market parking lot and not in parking structure associated with The Grove. If you park in Farmers Market section, you can get validation from any of the vendors and the first two hours are free. After that, it starts getting expensive. If you park in the Grove parking structure, you will need to buy something from one of the stores at the Grove to get parking validation. If you don’t, parking can be quite expensive. If you are tenacious, you might be able to find a metered spot outside the parking lot on 3rd st., but you’ll have to feed the meter every two hours. If you live in a place where you can take the bus there, that’s probably the best option (and cheapest) for staying there more than two hours.
If you go there to write or have gone there to write in the past, let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Photos © Michael Millar
Written by: Nicole Criona