This past weekend I found myself at Night Market Cleveland, a relatively new attraction in the downtown area! My journey began when I saw the event being talked about on social media and this prompted me to head over to their website. To be honest, I glanced at a few pictures, barely read anything and said to myself, “Well this looks like an interesting place to get some photos. I’m going to go.”
The event started around five but — being the rebellious soul that I am — I decided to be fashionably late and head over at six. By this time the event was in full swing as I rounded the corner of East 21st and Superior heading north. I saw a few tents up ahead but this did not seem to match the size and scale of the event I saw in the pictures online. A bit of trepidation crept into my mind at that moment but I decided to continue to push forward.
Making my way through the first few tents the sights and smells seemed interesting enough but if this was it I was going to be pretty disappointed. As 21st converged with Rockwell I looked east. Overwhelmed, with the sights and smells any sense of doubt about the event I had quickly disappeared.
Photographers — or at least I — have a tendency when going to anywhere or anything worth capturing focus more on taking pictures than enjoying the actual event. I have been working on enjoying the event and just capturing the best images possibles rather than haphazardly shooting everything that I see. So I wrapped my camera over my shoulder and began making my way through the crowd. Eyeing the booths with their handmade trinkets, traditional music, and enticing delicacies I let myself bounce back and forth with the motion of the crowd.
For me, nothing is more positive for the city than seeing this many people come together for an event that not only supports local businesses but a culture itself. It breathes life into our city. Even compared to last year I have noticed a difference in the amount of people downtown. This event was no exception. I’m not sure if my memory is blurred by the cold winter months from last year but just imagining an event like this gaining this much traction downtown would seem far fetched.
This wasn’t a Cavs or Indians game, this was the people of Cleveland coming together to support others who are looking to make Cleveland a better place.
For the rest of the night I explored the booths, people watched, took pictures, enjoyed some great food, and listened to some free live music.
A little side note for anyone who is interested in photography, these types of events are a great way to meet people and share your work. For fun, I decided to take some pictures of one of the bands that was playing. I was shooting away and their manager came up to me handed me his card and said send some pictures his way. I didn’t even have to do anything and I found myself a potential client for the future.
Overall, I think events like Night Market Cleveland are just what the city needs to continue to get better and progress. If you’re interested in going to this event you’re in luck because there is one more before it gets way too cold to even think about going outside. The last Night Market Cleveland for the season is September 25th — I will be there, hope to see you as well!