The bustle of Haymarket

The outdoor food market on Blackstone Street is a great place to people-watch. But the people-listening is even better.

Open your ears. What do you hear? The rhythmic clang of church bells, perhaps. The screeching of a subway car. Today, we launch a column to celebrate the shared soundtrack to our city. Tell us about the sounds in your community, using the address below.

> We begin with one of the city’s most iconic sounds, that of Haymarket – the mass of tents, produce, seafood, and more that draws shoppers of all stripes to Blackstone Street every Friday and Saturday. The outdoor market is a great place to people-watch but an even better one to people-listen. The myriad languages, the haggling, the repartee (and occasional R-rated story) from colorful vendors – its distinctive bustle fills the ears like nowhere else in Boston. “The strawberries and raspberries are out of this world,” one vendor tells a prospective customer on a recent Friday morning. Hyperbole, maybe. But they do look pretty good. Plastic bags rustle. Metal scales creak. The produce carts go tat-tat-tat as their wheels catch the cobblestones.

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