The Palatine Metra Station throbs with commuters Monday through Friday. Saturdays are more leisurely with people lingering over coffee, meeting friends, waiting for the train to an event in the city.
But, once a month, the train station is a bustling place to be on a Saturday morning. Fourteen vendors bring the Palatine Farmers Market inside, and they're attracting more and more customers, including Leo Tyska and his running club, HIP.
Tyska founded HIP (Hoffman, Inverness, Palatine Athletic Association), a group of runners aged 14 to 70, who gather in the station every Saturday at 8 a.m. and head out for a route of one to six miles walking, jogging or running. It's individual preference -- no one's alone.
An hour later they return to cool down, socialize, enjoy coffee and on market days, they have their knives sharpened, shop for hormone/pesticide-free meat, fresh eggs, gourmet cheese, handcrafted natural soaps, spices, herbs, beans, potatoes and pasta. They treat themselves to baked goods and get pet treats to take home. And, everyone enjoys the complementary copies of the Saturday Daily Herald. The farmers market is open every Saturday morning May through October and monthly during the winter months, with upcoming markets on Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12.
Tyska has attracted a diverse, fun-loving group who come together to enjoy Palatine and all its charm up close, on foot. In fact, Paul Smith is celebrating his 50th birthday this Saturday by achieving his goal of running every street in Palatine.
The group will join him at 8:45 a.m. for his last mile from Northwest Highway down Smith Street to the Palatine station and the February farmers market. Everyone's welcome to join him.
Find HIP Athletic Association and the Palatine Farmers Market on Facebook. For more information on HIP, email Tyska at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for more information on the winter farmers market, email Marg Duer, email@example.com.