After a bank errand at the corner of William Cannon and Westgate, we heard loud music coming through a PA system and a voice inviting everyone to visit the new Marketplace Austin - "if you want it, we've got it!" A Spanish radio sponsor? No, a twelve-year-old boy getting a start on his future career as a deejay.
As we made our way across the parking lot, a guy in a pickup truck slowed down in front of us and asked what in the world was this Marketplace Austin all about? We replied we had no clue - that's precisely what we were going to find out. I thought, from the row of flags representing countries all over the world perched on the roof, this place might be an international warehouse of goods, groceries, and decor - like the famed World Market where you can purchase marzipan, wine, and expensive wicker furniture.
However, upon walking in, I realized this place might more accurately be called "Mercado Austin." It was a labyrinth of booths selling anything from Mexican movies, frilly underwear, Zacatecan western wear, tacos and mariscos, jewelry, toys, furniture, bridal and quinceañera dresses - to "levanta pompis" jeans. Yes, that's right - you want jeans to shape and lift your butt? They've got it!