The Hester Street Fair is growing on the Lower East Side. Today, organizers announced they have made a deal with the NYC Parks Department to use the promenade area along Essex Street, which is part of Seward Park. Right now, the fair is confined to a parcel at the end of Hester Street owned by the Seward Park co-op. Here’s the release:
Hester Street Fair is pleased to announce, in partnership with the Park’s Department, a welcome expansion into neighboring Historic Seward Park. The expanded footprint will create a continuous flow along Essex Street from Hester to Canal Streets and will house nearly 30 more artisan vendors, including specialty foods to offer 50% more of what Hester visitors have come to know and love. The Hester Street Promenade will provide much needed additional seating under a canopy of trees and elegant canvas umbrellas, just in time to see the park blooming for Spring and Summer. “We’ve always thought the area around Schiff Fountain was a beautiful yet underutilized part of the neighborhood. And the trickiest part of our market has been the size…we are always looking for more space! So, we’re thrilled to be working with the Parks Department to create a fun and vibrant space for Lower East Side residents and visitors to enjoy.” -SuChin Pak, Cofounder, Hester Street Fair. The expansion will launch with a festive opening celebration on May 31, with more food vendors and live music. Plus special give-a-ways from Hester food and fashion vendors.
Would really like to see the addition of a farmer’s market. Seems a logical fit with the closure of Pathmark and I’m sure the area would support it.
“We’ve always thought the area around Schiff Fountain was a beautiful yet underutilized part of the neighborhood.”
Gahhh!! Nooo!! That’s why I like it!
The Essex Street Farmer’s Market is a great place for fresh vegetables and fruit. Hong Kong Market on East Broadway and Allen also has a good selection. All you have to do is walk a couple of blocks North or a
couple of blocks South. Then there is the small fruit and veggie store on the corner of Canal across from the park. Of course Fine Fare has a large selection. Seward Park has never been under utilized. Check out its history. People use the fountain area as a dog walking promenade and it is/was a quiet place to sit, rest people watch and unwind.
It was serene and weirdly beautiful in an unfettered, but not mercantile way. I vote for oasis of calm.
Former Park Steward
There are, as you point out, loads of places to get fruits & veggies, but that isn’t the same as a farmer’s market which is about locally grown (and sometimes organic). It might well be that some of the offerings at Essex St Market etc are locally grown, but they aren’t adequately labeled to be able to determine this. Some of the fruit at Fine Fare is labeled, but not much. Fine Fare also has some organic now which is great, but the selection is still pretty limited.
That being said, I think there is a small farmer’s market on Thursdays at the Abrons Arts Center but I’ve never been able to check it out due to the timing.
There is Whole Foods, the 14th Street Farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s on 14th street and. What is affordable for most people? There used to be a farmer’s market on Grand across from The Donut Plant. The prices were very expensive. The neighborhood did not support it. By that I mean the whole neighborhood. I don’t mind traveling to all the places I mentioned. A slight inconvenience to me.
I wonder if the Parks Department gets any rental from the arrangement. Maybe not. The point is, quiet space without commerce is something for all. Quick shopping for expensive convenience when so much already exists caters to a certain idea of the use of space.
In gratitude of open space where it still exists in New York City.
I hope that area is exterminated of all the rats. Their are allot of very bold rats living in the grass. At night they run around unafraid of humans.
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