Talking Public Markets at The Tenement Museum

Morris Vogel, President of the Tenement Museum, introduced panelists (from left) Robert LaValva from the New Amsterdam Market, Andrew Coe of, Suzanne Wasserman of The Gotham Center and Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheese

Editor’s note: Here’s our first story from Giacinta Frisillo, The Lo-Down’s newest community contributor:

We stopped by The Tenement Museum Tuesday evening for another excellent edition of their Tenement Talks food series.  Panelists at the event, “Public Markets: Talk and Tasting,” included Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers and Robert LaValva, president of the New Amsterdam Market. They discussed the long entwined history, and future, of public markets in New York City.

The city’s first public market opened its doors in 1675, on the waterfront.  LaValva noted that the city was finally “truly united with the water” bringing the freshness of the shipping trade as close to the hands of the public as possible. As the city grew in size and volume, so did the public markets, reaching double digits for a time. But with the advent of supermarkets and convenience stores on every corner, the number of public markets has dwindled to only four throughout the five boroughs.