Struggle and Resilience on Manhattan’s Lower East Side | Free Virtual Program | Sunday, May 31, 11am

In celebration of Lower East Side History Month, this virtual program will explore how the neighborhood has weathered difficult times, including stories of mutual aid, charity, and resilience shared from the Museum at Eldridge Street’s archives and by historian Sarah Litvin. At the end of the program, we will interview staff from the LES Partnership about their current efforts to bring together government, business, and community-based resources to support the needs of local residents. This program is hosted by Turnstile Tours in partnership with the LES Partnership, the Museum at Eldridge Street, and Dr. Sarah Litvin, Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History.

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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth with Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe | Virtual Program | Sunday, May 31, 4pm

We’ll meet Tabatha Lozano, the owner of Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe. After starting as a vendor at Vendy Plaza, she got a permanent location inside La Marqueta, a public market in East Harlem. Inspired by her Puerto Rican roots and the diverse Harlem neighborhood, she decided to bring custom cakes and traditional desserts to the community. We’ll learn about her journey, her inspirations, her challenges, and her delicious creations. Finally she’ll tell us about quesitos and show us how to make the decadent treats.

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A Rose in Spanish Harlem: Gardening with Urban Garden Center | Virtual Program | Wednesday, June 3, 11am

Join us for a gardening demonstration and conversation with Dimitri Gatanas of the Urban Garden Center at La Marqueta, a third generation family-owned business in East Harlem. We’ll hear the story of his family’s business, which dates back to 1957, discuss generations of gardeners in the local community, learn some gardening tips, and virtually explore the Urban Garden Center’s 20,000-square-foot space.

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Voices of Essex Market with Feed Me A Story | Free Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

In celebration of Lower East Side History Month, join us for a conversation with Theresa Loong, Laura Nova, and Sarah Kramer about Feed Me A Story’s video and audio documentation of Essex Market that explores what it means to be an American through questions like, “What is your favorite childhood food?” or “What was the first recipe you learned to cook?” We’ll be listening together to clips from their recently launched audio walk of the market, watching videos that feature stories and family recipes from vendors and customers alike, and inviting viewers to share the ingredients and dishes that spark their own stories and memories of family and community.

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Virtual Visit to Williamsburg’s Moore Street Market | Free Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Learn the history of Brooklyn’s Moore Street Market and join a live broadcast with market manager Egaudy Gomez, who will take us on a virtual tour of the market to meet the vendors, hear their stories, and learn about what they are making and selling during this time of crisis, including businesses that are collaborating to make Puerto Rican- and Dominican-themed protective masks. Built in 1941 as part of a city-wide network of public retail markets, today “La Marqueta de Williamsburg” is a neighborhood institution, known by local residents for family-owned businesses selling herbal teas, beverages, gift items, and traditional ingredients like tubers and plantains, as well as prepared food vendors with lunch counters that serve up flavorful Latin dishes.

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Unsung Heros & Villains: The Sandwich Kings of Essex Market | Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Friends Matthew Chappina and Jason Cruz first started slinging sandwiches at the food festival Smorgasburg. Inspired by classic NYC bodega sandwiches, they created Heros & Villains using fresh, high-quality ingredients and house-made sauces. The venture was such a success that they moved into a permanent location at the new Essex Market, where they use a nearby butcher for their meats and craft every sandwich from scratch. We’ll chat with Matthew about the inspiration of the business, what it’s like being part of the Essex Market community, and get to see him make their legendary fried chicken sandwich for us.

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From Orchard to Essex: Street Peddlers and Market Vendors with the Tenement Museum

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

When Essex Street Market opened in 1940, it was heralded as a new era for commerce, as the city promised to clear the streets of pushcart peddlers and provide a clean, orderly space for shoppers. Many former street vendors set up shop in the new market’s 475 stalls, but New Yorkers lamented the loss of the pushcarts that had filled the streets of the Lower East Side for nearly a century. Together with the Tenement Museum, we’ll explore the evolution of the market itself and the stories of the vendors who made it their home. The history of the Essex Street Market and its businesses have always been a reflection of the immigration and migration to the Lower East Side and during this virtual visit, we’ll meet vendors of the past, and drop-in live to the new Essex Market to talk with its vendors of today.

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A Year in Review at Essex Market | Virtual Program

The first and second floors of the Essex Market with a historic neon sign from the Orchard Essex Meat Market

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

On May 13, 2019, Essex Market moved from its 1940 building to a new home at Essex Crossing, opening a new chapter in the market’s history by adding 13 new vendors, a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, robust public seating, and tripling the market’s footprint. Despite the change in venue, Essex Market remains dedicated to its mission to serve the Lower East Side with fresh, affordable and high-quality food. On this virtual tour of the market, we will look back at the last year, which began with a flurry of excitement, but we enter Year Two with a completely different sense of “business as usual.” Learn about the historic move and get a first-hand look at how market vendors are adapting to the new state of affairs and keeping their businesses going. We’ll go live to the market with Community Manager Lauren Margolis, who will introduce us to some of the vendors and share the measures put in place so everyone can continue shopping safely.

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Art of Street Vending: From Colonial New York to the New Deal | Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

In this virtual program, Turnstile Tours founder Cindy VandenBosch examines how children’s books, novels, paintings, and postcards have depicted New York City’s street vendors, and the foods and merchandise they sell over time. From hot corn and baked pears to knishes and sweet potatoes, she will dive into vendor stories depicted in works including the 1808 book “Cries of New York,” documentation from the Works Progress Administration, and images by William Chappel (pictured), Lou Barlow, and Raymond Ewer, among others.

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How It’s Made: Vegan Cheese with Riverdel | Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

You can find just about anything at the Essex Market, but you’ll only find one vegan cheese monger – Riverdel. With their display case filled with wheels and wedges of local and imported cheeses, it’s hard to believe that this is a meat- and dairy-free establishment. Join us for a chat and demonstration with owner and manager Micheala Grob, as we discuss all things vegan cheese, and learn about running a unique and growing business in one of NYC’s iconic public markets.

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