UPDATE: Starting Sunday October 11, 2015, Northwood Village will introduce a year-round farmer’s market offering fresh plants/flowers, fresh produce, fresh seafood, and more which will take place every Sunday. Read more about Palm Beach county’s green markets.

One of the oldest neighborhoods of West Palm Beach, Northwood Village was originally developed from 1920 through 1927, and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Moving to the US from Haiti in 1991, I attended Northboro Elementary school which is on 40th St and Broadway. My mom worked at Children’s Home Society, then at 25th & Broadway (there’s a laundromat there now).  After school, my brother and I would head to CHS where we’d help out with the after school tutoring — mostly teaching kids who also weren’t native English speakers the alphabet — engaging in playtime, drawing, etc.

Years later while in high school, one of my closest friends and I got into the car driving aimlessly searching something to do — this was before we had access to GPS, and apps like Yelp or Foursquare — we cruised around town finally bumping into Northwood Road (probably 2000-01).  Afterwards, I’d forgotten about the area for years and it wasn’t until maybe 2010, that I once again came across Northwood’s unique colorful shops and vibrant community.

Northwood is home to the Center for Creative Education, where you can take up drawing, painting, dancing, or sewing lessons offered through Lot 23 free of charge due to funds made available from the CRA. Where Relish Burger owners Daniel and Desiree Tobin offer a mix-and-match menu of about a dozen types of freshly ground meat like the traditional beef or turkey, to wild boar, black bean, Italian sausage, snapper, wild mushroom, lamb. Top them with over 20+ relish options. Where you’ll find moist, gooey, caramelized single-serve upside down pineapple cakes and other goodies at Creme de la Creme.  There’s also Africa Now, a source for contemporary and traditional African art, offering classes and workshops like Passport Mask Making workshop (Aug. 23). Then there’s Malakor Thai with its delicious food, cozy atmosphere, and equally great customer service + booze.

What prompted this trip and post was a visit to Harold’s Coffee Lounge‘s first Green Market! While the market is still developing and in its early stages, the potential is definitely there.  Planned for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month through December, interested vendors can contact Liz Wisewood at wisewood88@yahoo.com. So, come for the market and stay for the shops, or stop for the shops and stay for the market.

While there, enjoy the art gracing the walls of Harold’s Coffee curated by artist Anthony Burks, all done by local creatives and available for purchase. The mural on the building was recently done by artist, Eduardo Mendieta.

By the time we arrived, there was a handful of vendors left.  One of whom was Cynric Johnson. He brought with him various plants like papayas, lemons, plus I definitely saw some peppers. Chef Roberto Villegas’s wife was there with some balsamic vinaigrette, passion fruit parfait from Table 427.  In front of Creme de la Creme, one of the nearby gallery managers stood juicing fruits and veggies and preparing to host a limeade social.

Moral of the story? Show support and keep this green market going either by attending or vending.

Before heading off, we stopped by Diane’s Boutique where owner, Diane McKinnie was outside chatting with Billy Manthy, of Malakor Thai.  Inside, artist and store manager of Africa Now, Kianga Jinaki, was going through the racks and peeking her head out every once in a while with a new find. We stopped at Lola’s Magic Closet, then tip-toed down the street to Fresh Catch Seafood Market & Grill.

AUGUST 23: Passport Mask Making Workshop at Africa Now

Before there were paper passports, Africans used colorful masks to identify their clans or countries of origin when traveling across the continent. Learn how to make your very own passport mask and shadow box for displaying it. This class will be taught by Annie Kadji owner of Africa Now by AK and Artist Kianga Jinaki. The fee for this class is $30 and includes all supplies needed to complete your mask and shadowbox. Class size is limited.

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