The Best Thing This Week

Reading Terminal Market’s Big Birthday

Happy quasquicentennial, yo!

We first got to know her in the ’70s, in high school, when we’d ride the train in from Doylestown with our friends. She wasn’t much to look at then, just a motley assortment of butcher stalls and produce mongers and, of course, the Bassetts ice cream stand, which has been there right from the beginning, when Reading Terminal Market opened on February 22nd, 1893. We shopped there in the ’80s, as she began to spiffy herself up, and through her ’90s face-lift as the Convention Center rose above her. We bought sausage and scrapple from her, and watched with wonder as her beets became chic. We ate her pretzels. (So. Many. Pretzels.) Now, we sip her craft liquors and beers, take cooking classes, and eye with some suspicion the rollout of an online ordering and pickup app. (Really, old girl? You’re going there?) For a while, we were scared we’d lose her. We don’t think that we could live without her. Just look at her! She turned 125 on Thursday. We’d stay for cake and candles, but we’ve gotta run; we need some oysters, stat.