You Really Can Get Something For Nothing

Really, Really Free Market New York City i i

At the Really, Really Free Market in New York City, the food is free. Some of the food is donated and some of it is rescued from retail garbage. The next market takes place on Sun., March 29, 2009. Marcos Caceres hide caption

itoggle caption Marcos Caceres
Really, Really Free Market New York City

At the Really, Really Free Market in New York City, the food is free. Some of the food is donated and some of it is rescued from retail garbage. The next market takes place on Sun., March 29, 2009.

Marcos Caceres

If you are cutting back or downsizing due to the present economy, you might consider going to a Really, Really Free Market. It's a kind of anarchist utopian vision: No money changes hands. There's not even any barter.

The Really, Really Free Markets movement started during the anti-globalization protests in 2004, as a way to create something positive beyond protests. It was a way to answer the question, "What are you guys for?" Such markets have sprung up from California to Georgia to New York — where a market takes place one Sunday a month at the Judson Church in Greenwich Village.

Some people bring bags of stuff to give away; others take away bags of clothing, toys and books. There are CDs, videos, paper goods, as well as people giving free counseling and dental advice. You can get a free haircut or get your face painted.

Sam Imperatrici has been helping the market organize. "It's like Christmas or like walking into a candy store where everything is free," she says. "The goods and services are the anchor, but the main thing is the connectivity between people that happens when you take the exchange of money out of the picture."

There's also free food at the Really, Really Free Market. Some of it is donated; some of it is rescued.

Cindy Rosin is cutting vegetables. "All of the salad stuff," she says, "all of that was rescued from retail garbage."

But washed, cleaned and sliced. No one would ever know.

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