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STREET BEAT: Eagle Hall early Sunday morning

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

STREET BEAT: Eagle Hall early Sunday morning

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Come for your peppers . . .

WHERE IS IT that many people in Barbados find themselves early on a Sunday morning?

Besides church, one of the popular Sunday morning spots is nowhere else but Eagle Hall in St Michael. The reason being it is where produce vendors go to sell their goods, some of who are not seen there any other day of the week.

“Keith Man”, as he preferred to be identified, told the Street Beat team why this was. He said the area resonated among the poor people.

“Eagle Hall was always the hub on a Sunday for the poor people, the original Bridgetown. What you can’t do in Town during the week, you can come out here and do on a Sunday,” he said.

However, “Keith Man” had nothing good to say about the nearby public market. While the vendors plied their trade on the roadside, the market was all but abandoned.

“That market ain’t no use; it is a waste of money and time. There’s no place to park and no way for people passing by to see the produce; at no side you come from can you see the things inside. It is not accessible, so the people do their business out here,” he said.

As for “Keith Man”, he said he came to Eagle Hall to sell only on a Sunday, added he did it “for survival”.

Across the road, some men were making a brisk trade selling coconut water and jelly. Nekada White was waiting patiently for her breakfast.

“It’s a tradition for me to get coconut water and jelly on a Sunday morning. I guess when I was younger I would have had the occasional coconut but now, after doing some research into the health benefits of coconuts, I use them for breakfast – I eat the jelly and drink the water, then later follow up with a light lunch,” she said.

White said the value of coconuts was lost on the youth, saying: “I’m sure if something came up saying it is the latest weight loss fad, then they would pay more attention.”

Sarah Clarke was in a hurry. She said she was passing through the market to pick up some last-minute food items for lunch.

“I want squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots . . . I try to eat healthy,” she said.

Kenneth Armstrong was buying his newspapers.

“I must have my Sunday papers – even if I’m too busy to read them today, I can read them during the week,” he said.

Vendor Jason Griffith said working in Eagle Hall on a Sunday was a “hustle”. He said certain vendors had their exclusive clientele but the area itself was a convenient one for many.

“Everybody might not want to go to a supermarket and Town empty today, so they might stop off here,” he said.

Around the corner, people were buying another Sunday morning item – bread. Over at Baker’s Mart, Jerry Bailey was buying some grilled hot dogs.

“I come here on a regular basis and my daughter comes here for breakfast every morning. It’s a Sunday thing for me. Sometimes you don’t have the time to do breakfast at home and here has a variety of things to choose from. Plus it close to me and I get very good service,” he said.

Another customer, who requested anonymity, said he loved “sweet stuff” on mornings, so he came for his jam puffs and horse shoes as well as meat rolls.

One of the workers, who requested anonymity, said Bajans loved their flour, especially when it rained for some reason.

“People don’t stop coming to buy bread, especially when rain falls. You got to serve nuff people. Bajans love salt bread, hot dog rolls, hamburger buns, fishcakes, meat rolls and more,” she said.

Another worker said she had also noticed a drop off in Sunday morning traffic.

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