There was a lot of activity at the Essex Street Market Tuesday. They're preparing to put down a new tile floor covering the entire indoor space. There's lots of talk about a new bakery (Pain D'Avignon) moving in the old Ronnie Sue's Chocolates (she now has room to spread out in a much larger stall on the other sde of the market). No one seems to know when the bakery might open. We emailed Pain D'Avignon's managers- no word yet. I made sure to snap up a chocolate chip cookie from the Sweet Things Bake Shop, run by the Lower Eastside Girls Club. They are getting close to opening New York City’s first and only Girls Club facility- a LEED Gold state of the art ‘green’ building that will serve hundreds of economically disadvantaged girls and their families.
Along with plenty of delectable treats to be found in the Market, one never knows what sort of interesting art you might stumble upon. From the various local artists represented at Jeffery's Meat Market (everyone wants to paint Jeffery but he also puts on shows by other artists), to the photographs hanging in Tra La La Juice Bar's seating area, you'll find some interesting works of art. While sipping a delicious strawberry, blueberry, banana, and mango smoothie I spoke with Ira Stolzenberg, one of Rainbo's (and Tra La La Juice Bar) founders about his current "installation", titled Heady Stuff. It is a series of portraits of people's faces overlaid with different types of meat. Mostly uncooked meat. The results are fabulously disgusting. You'll have to see these photos to believe them.
I also visited the Chuchifritos gallery/project space, which is currently exhibiting "Feedback: Working space 09." It features works selected by guest curator Thomas J. Lax from artists participating on the Lower East Side-Rotating Studio Program. I particularily liked Harumi Ori’s ongoing sculptural series on paper, "I was here," made out of plastic mesh and depicting the East River Park (pictured below).