The New Yorker has a “Talk of the Town” piece on Eli Zabar’s Amagansett Farmers Market in the Hamptons, and the story is pretty much made-to-order for the magazine’s long-patented style of mordant portraiture. Zabar’s astronomical costs ($7.99 a pound for tomatoes, for instance) are a wild departure from the old market, but the man himself is still trying to hew to a homespun image: “We’re not going to be all things to all people,” he said. “I’m trying to be the common man, but the shoe doesn’t fit me so well. I told them to make all the carpentry rough-hewn, to keep the feeling of a farm stand, and I bought this eleven-year-old refrigerator unit for the lettuce, so it would feel more old-fashioned. I’m not going to carry Tampax and aspirin, no matter what. But the challenge is going to be to not let it all get too fancy.” Yes, that will definitely be the challenge.
Eli Zabar: “I’m trying to be the common man…” Photo: AP