It’s a whole new world below Delancey. Beginning in April, the Hester Street Fair, a new weekend market, is coming to a tree-lined lot next to Seward Park. There will be more than 60 vendors participating each day, including farmers, food purveyors and local artists. The market is being organized by a group of residents, including Ron Castellano, the architect/developer behind the restoration of the Forward Building.
Last August, we reported that the Seward Park Co-op, which owns the parcel, was looking for an organization to run an open-air market. The lot, located just to the south of the basketball courts on Essex Street, hasn’t been used in decades. At the time, Seward Park board member Pietro Filardo told us the co-op envisioned a lively gathering place for the community. After reading about the opportunity in The Lo-Down, the residents got together and began making plans.
One of the main organizers, SuChin Pak, told me she hopes the market will be a celebration of the neighborhood’s rich culture and history. The lot is situated at the end of Hester Street, once home to the Lower East Side’s pushcart peddlers. The lot has a lot going for it. Embedded in Seward Park, it’s visible from the street, but also reasonably secluded. In the next few weeks, they’ll be installing benches and tables, and preparing to accommodate dozens of vendors.
It also looks like the Grand Street Green Market (at Essex Street) will be moving down the block, just outside the Hester Street property. We’re told the city was close to pulling the plug on the market in its current location due to lack of interest. There’s hope a larger, more heavily promoted venue will attract bigger crowds.
The Hester Fair group is actively looking for vendors. If you’re interested in taking part, take a look at their Craigslist ad. Also check out the group’s Facebook Page. The market will debut April 24th and stay open through December. The hours will be 10-6.