A lot of my friends have laughed at my love affair with the High Line, a formerly derelict elevated freight line that has been revamped and re-fashioned into a public green space. But I really just love the idea of taking something old, possibly slated for demolition, and re-purposing it for the public’s enjoyment and education.
I found a new focus for my outdoor affections this weekend when I visited the South Street Seaport, specifically the New Amsterdam Market. The South Street Seaport is a designated historic district on the lower east side of Manhattan, adjacent to the Financial District. It is also home to the Fulton Fish Market, a now closed open-air market that began operations in 1822. A group called the “New Amsterdam Market” is advocating that the Market’s abandoned mercantile structures – Tin Building and New Market Building – be redeveloped to revive the tradition of public markets. Their website offers an interesting, if brief, outline of the proposal or you can find a link to their recent New York Times Op-Ed here.
This past Sunday was their opening day. It was held in the space in front of the old fish market buildings and it brought together 29 different vendors, many of whom gave out free samples. I was in heaven! Fresh bread, honey, nuts, cheese and wine – yum! It is not a huge market, but they have a lot to offer and, coupled with the shops on the South Street Seaport (which is admittedly a bit commercialized, but still pleasant), it made for a really great Sunday afternoon!
See You in the City, friends!