New Amsterdam Market is back in action, just in time to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage to the river that now bears his name. Join Saxelby Cheesemongers this Sunday at the old Fulton Fish Market for New Amsterdam’s inaugural market of the season!
New Amsterdam Market
Sunday, September 13th
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
South Street (btw Beekman and Peck Slip)
It’s easy to forget what made this little island such a compelling place to explorers when Hudson sailed into the harbor 400 years ago. The Hudson River, broad and wide and reaching deep into the land was called the key to the continent by some. The location of the island of Manhattan, sandwiched between the Hudson and the East River (a salty tidal strait) was an ideal place for settlement and trade because it had one of very few harbors that did not freeze completely over in the wintertime.
The southernmost tip of Manhattan was the first part of the island to be settled, and had all the 17th century frills… a fort, a wall, a smattering of homes and small businesses, and of course, a market district. Since the 1600’s, the South Street Seaport area has been the city’s marketplace. It has known many incarnations, most recently being home to the famous and sometimes infamous Fulton Street Fish market. The culture of the marketplace, its vendors, their sweat, the near-constant movement of goods, the haggling, the wheeling and dealing, the conviviality of it all are have smoothed and weathered the cobblestones, literally making up the mortar between them.
Today, that part of the city floats in a rather uncertain place. The fish market has moved north to the Bronx, there are historic ships moored at the docks, and there is still commerce, though confined to an odd shopping mall that juts out into the river on Pier 17. The empty market stalls and cobbled streets are in limbo, in search of a purpose that will do justice to their history and revive the neighborhood. What better way to do that than a public market? Public markets have served as gathering places since time immemorial, places for exchange of goods, but also places of great social and civic importance.
Were New Amsterdam Public to achieve its intention of establishing a permanent public market, it would turn New Yorkers collective pantries around. Locally sourced products, animal, vegetable, and mineral would be available to urbanites, sourced and sold by expert purveyors. The streets would spring to life each morning as the merchants built up displays spilling over with their wares. The subsequent bustle of shoppers, watchers, and people from all walks of life would swell through the streets and eddy at the end of each day, mimicking the tides that make the rivers flow.
Join us at the Seaport this Sunday to eat, shop, and reinvigorate the public market!
Till next week….