Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy was packed shoulder-to-shoulder in some places for its first ever Night Market. At its peak around 8 p.m. NewsWorks was told that the line for cupcakes was nearly an hour. This claim could not be independently verified.
Dozens of Philadelphia restaurants lined the Avenue from Sedgwick St. to Mt. Airy Ave. in standard white-tented booths.
A number of Mt. Airy business were represented: McMenamin’s, Food for All, The Wine Thief, Weavers Way and a few others gave the Night Market a unique Mt. Airy-esque flavor.
The only wrinkle in the night was a squabble between Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA), one of the event co-sponsors, and ACME over whether Night Market visitors could park in the store’s parking lot. The ACME store is located on Germantown Ave. and W. Sedgwick St, which made it a highly desirable parking spot.
Mt. Airy USA Executive Director Anuj Gupta says ACME agreed to let people use the lot. “Our understanding was that ACME would work with us – given that it is a community event – they are a community based store – to provide parking for some of our attendees.
ACME representatives told NewsWorks that they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. “Talk to corporate,” said one man seen talking to drivers coming into the lot. The parking lot was full at 6:30 p.m. and cars were continuing to flow in and circle the lot. So if you were trying to shop at ACME parking would have been tough to find.
Gupta says ACME staffers were even threatening to tow people’s cars away. “They are telling people that if they park here for the event they will be towed,” said Gupta.
Simona Barcellos of Mt. Airy says tried to park in the ACME lot. She says she was told that the parking was for store customers only. So she offered to buy something in the ACME if she could park there for the Night Market. Barcellos says her offer was refused. “He said no. If you buy, you have to leave. You show up and leave. That’s it.”
Finally, in a unrelated event to both the Night Market and the parking squabble, there was a bizarre car accident in the same ACME parking lot around 9:30 p.m. An SUV had driven on to the engine hood of a parked car.
A small crowd gathered and one young woman even posed with a piece a pizza in her hand as her friend took a photo.
One by-stander said what he heard from others that the driver of the SUV was a girl who was learning to drive. NewsWorks could not confirm this account.
NewsWorks will have more coverage of the Night Market today. This will include more photos by Bas Slabbers, a story by NewsWorks’ entertainment blogger Jimmy Viola, and I’ll have a highlight video of the Night Market.