31 March 2011

A Hell of a Rotten Idea

There is, of course, no limit to the number of stupid, city-soul-killing ideas that arise in Bloomberg's dystopian New York. But even among the most bonebrained notions, the removal of the Essex Street Market from the Lower East Side stands out in its wrongheadedness.

The Daily News reported earlier this month that Community Board 3 is considering whether the Essex Street Market should move when the city starts developing something called the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Community Board 3 passed guidelines in late January for the development of a stretch of parking lots along Delancey Street, and the renewal project includes the plot where the market stands and the guidelines suggest a possible move.

Why the removal of this beautiful and wonderful market, built in 1940, would constitute "renewal" for the area, no one suggests. Nor does anyone explain how the multifarious market, full of food merchants both historic and new, is dragging down the neighborhood. Anyone who visits the Essex Street Market regularly—or has stumbled upon it be accident—know was a flavorful experience a stroll through its stalls can be, and how much character and authenticity and neighborhood feeling it lends to an area that is increasingly plastic.

There is now a "Save The Essex Street Market" petition, so go check it out and sign before CB3 can act any further on this idiotic idea.  

Apparently, the Hunts Point wholesale produce market in the South Bronx might also decamp, perhaps to New Jersey. Because, you know, New York doesn't need any kind of industry or anything like that. We're good the way we are. As long as we keep the Yankees, Mets, the New York Stock Exchange, new chain franchises and plenty of condo developments. We're good. 


maximum bob said...

Yeah, and then these same asshats will start whining about "food deserts" in the same breath of hot air.

upstate Johnny G said...

Pretzel logic by NYC for sure!!! Geez, what will happen to Shopsin's? A fixture in the Village for decades, they were first forced to move a short distance away from their original location by....exorbitant rent....then outrageous rent drove them from location number 2 and they ended up in the Essex Market. Sigh.

Shopsin's for those unfamiliar...features Kenny Shopsin in the kitchen....and his famous "rules". One of which is "the customer is hardly ever right". He's been known to throw people out of his place for a variety of reasons. Other rules include "no parties of more than 4 persons" and that means no tricks like one party of four and another of three but you're really all together. You'll all get the boot. Used to be there was a rule against duplicating orders...like you couldn't look over at a another table and then say "I'll have what he's having". The reason for this is that Shopsin doesn't want to make the same dish over and over. If you look at his menu...well...it's huge. I mean gi-normous! Intimidating actually. For the diner, not for him to cook from. In fact he prides himself on never running out of any menu item. What is going is he's doing jazz. Because you might order the same thing two times a week apart and it would be slightly different each time. Cause every dish is really created anew every time he cooks it, like a jazz improv.

And no, I have no connection whatsoever with Shopsin's. I just think that it is a great place and an example of what's to be lost if Essex goes although I'm sure he'll pop up somewhere.

ajlounyinjurylaw said...

I loved that place and hated that it is gone. It's just too bad.