A night market is something most people are not familiar with…. myself included. I’ve only heard about these open street markets, where they sell food, trinkets, and other random things you probably don’t need. They are typically in the asian part of town, but not every town has one. Vancouver, B.C. and nearby Richmond (just outside of Vancouver) supposedly has a good night market. What makes it good? I have no clue. Maybe it’s good since night markets are typically cheap and being in Canada, the currency valuation it makes it even cheaper.
Seattle doesn’t have anything like this. To occupy the evening hours, Seattle has pubs, clubs, restaurants and the Mariners…. but no night market. I don’t know how often I would walk around a street market looking for an outdoor food stand of grilled “mystery meat”, but I think it would be fun on occasion.
There’s a greater connection between night markets and the world economy. In case you’ve missed the Wall St. Journal this week, Chinese companies are starting to gobble up American firms. Most recently is news that CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company) is attempting to outbid Chevron in order to purchase Unocal Corporation for over $18 billion. The reason I point this out is to show that Chinese firms are expanding into firms you thought were wholly American. Earlier this week, Maytag (makers of your washing machine and dishwasher) was offered a bid by China’s Haier Corp.
Now I’m not saying that gas stations and refridgerators will soon only have Chinese instructions, but there is a trend that countries with money (i.e. China) will continue to increase their investment in U.S. firms going forward. Getting back to my original point, the increased presence of asian (spcifically Chinese) businesses and investment in the U.S. is a great reason to promote a cultural bridge. A night market (like this one in Taipei) would be a great avenue to sample cultural ideas from around the world. It would be great not only for the cheap food and novelty of having an open street fair each weekend, but also for greater exposure of asian culture on average Americans. Seattle should have one, since I don’t feel like driving 100 miles to Vancouver just to experience one.