Walk to Le Marche

Sunday morning, I took my husband and baby for a walk through Riley Park. September has tilted the sunshine just right, so that all the houses scrunched up their eyes like a satisfied cat purring face first into the sun. This means we smile and hold hands instead of grumbling about how long its taking to find this place, and will we be back in time for baby’s nap. And instead of hating all the people in the lovely houses, assuming they are sweatshop owners or other money-grubbers, we imagine they actually deserve them.
We’re on our way to Le Marche St George, an old rambling house turned coffee and fine-things shop just off Fraser, near the Mountain View Cemetery. My neighbour introduced me to this secret spot a few days earlier, and I know G will love it. He’s always talking about how cool it would be to open a cafe or deli in our somewhat grimy Kingsway neighbourhood. And fill it with irresistible add-ons, such as an art gallery, a DJ table, vintage furniture or a book shop. The owners of Le Marche are basically living our dream.
A few years ago, they purchased a fall-down stuccoed house, and to pay for mortgage and renovations, opened a grocery and coffee shop in front which also vends the owner’s delicately crackled white ceramics, as well as lovely loose-knit throws and special jars of sundries. We peeked over the backyard fence to see some frilly chickens running about under a tree house, and saw co-owner Janaki Larsen tidying up her pottery supplies. A sign on the side door announced that the upstairs is available for photo shoots, wine tastings and book launches.
It’s just so clever, I think, to have found so many viable, yet artful enterprises to run out of one dream—the restoration of a 100-year-old house. I’m jealous beyond belief, but also buoyed up with hope that dreams like this are possible. I hope it’s not just a trick of the light.

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