Regular readers of this website know that I’m a huge fan of the seasonal markets here in New York City. They are the perfect way to kick around a different part of town on a sunny, weekend afternoon. Taking a little stroll around the market stalls, nibbling on a sweet treat or noshing on a plate of something while enjoying people watching and the pleasures of the vibrant NYC food scene gives this bustling city a more relaxed, small town feel. One of my favorite markets to visit is the New Amsterdam Market, founded by Robert LaValva.
Right now, the market takes place in a parking lot on the site of the former Fulton Fish Market. For years, Robert and his supporters have been requesting that they be granted space in the abandoned fish market buildings, the development rights for which are owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation, who also holds the lease on Pier 17 in the Seaport area. I’ve attended two hearings about this project. One of them was last week, where a large number of people gathered to show that they are in favor of the market being included in the redevelopment plans for the area. In fact, so many folks came to support the market that the meeting had to be postponed so that it could be moved to the city council hearing room at City Hall itself, and the room was still packed. Here’s one article summarizing the proceedings.
The time to act on this project is now, while the City Council is in the public review process. Here’s how you can help:
Sign the petition the New Amsterdam Market website. Add your name to those of the thousands of other New Yorkers who would hate to see this market go away
Contact your city council member to let him/her know that you would like to see this market continue and to have it find a place in the re-development plans for the Seaport area. (At the meeting on Thursday, March 14, the council people who spoke said that their constituents had told them how much having this market in the city adds to their quality of life, and is it a revenue generator and job creator, which is also important to the council)
Participate in the rally at City Hall tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19, from noon until 1:00 p.m. to add your voice to the others that would like to keep alive this valuable public asset – Rally postponed due to inclement weather.
See what chefs and others who support the market are saying about it. Hopefully, we can all pull together to find a permanent home for the market and to have it as a integrated part of a new, dynamic South Street Seaport area that all New Yorkers will want to use.