Eat and Browse at the Night Market on Southmore


By Jawahar Malhotra
It’s what you would expect a fair to be, less the Ferris wheel, rides, games and bright lights. Instead there were foodtrucks, plenty of booths, lightbulbs stringed between them and across the lawn, DJ Dayta pumping funky music and lots of people loitering around enjoying the nighttime escape from the orderly neighborhood street that fronts the Asia Society’s landmark building on Southmore Boulevard.

The Society held its annual Night Market this past Friday, October 21, as it has done in the past few years, in front of its building and a reflection of the market’s growing popularity were the numerous booths that lined not only the main atrium inside but also in the lobby and main hall upstairs. There were about 50 booths of all sorts selling their wares, and at least a dozen of them were by South Asian businesses.


In addition, the Society threw open to the public its current exhibitions of In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 which deals with the aftermath of the tsunami that hit the Pacific coast of Japan in March 2011 and 3DPRK: North Korean Portraits by Matjaž Tančič .


The food trucks were lined up five deep in the block of Southmore just in front of the Society, between the building and the parking lot, which was cordoned off on both ends for the three hours of the market from 6 to 9 pm. It is an idea borrowed from many cities in Asia like Hong Kong, where once a week, a certain segment of streets in a neighborhood are closed off for street vendors and turns the area in a bustling pop-up market for a night.


It certainly had the same effect on this segment of the Museum District as people sat on tables and benches or even on the curb to eat from the food trucks, children inside at desks painted and made origami figures, little kids played outside with the landscaped river stones and couples roamed to the sounds of loud music in an otherwise sedate part of town.