Last Chance to Visit Vendy Plaza at East Harlem’s La Marqueta Sunday, Nov 23

This coming Sunday, November 23, is the last weekend to attend Vendy Plaza, at least for now. For the past four Sundays, our friends at the Street Vendor Project and the Vendy Awards have turned East Harlem’s historic La Marqueta public market into a gathering place for outdoor food vendors, music, and culture.

La Marqueta was originally called the Park Avenue Retail Market when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia opened it in 1936 as a place for street vendors to operate in East Harlem, part of his campaign to get vendors off the streets and into indoor markets. While more than a dozen of these public markets were built in the 1930’s and 40’s, today only four are still operating and are owned by the City of New York: La Marqueta, the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market (which will likely be relocated as part of the Essex Crossing development), the Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx, and the Moore Street Market in Williamsburg (which you can visit on our Immigrant Foodways Tour on select Saturdays).>> Continue reading

LA Stories: More Than Just Food Trucks

Cindy and Andrew recently traveled to Los Angeles for a much-needed vacation.  But of course, they could not resist exploring the waterfronts, markets, and street food of Southern California.  Over the coming weeks, they will be sharing some of their experiences.

Confession: we travelled all the way to Los Angeles, and we did not eat from a single food truck.  Now, given our chosen profession, that may seem an unforgivable sin, but during our seven days in Southern California, we did find our way to many street vendors, markets, and incredible immigrant-owned restaurants across the Los Angeles area.  We are admitted neophytes to the sprawling Los Angeles food scene, but thanks to the advice of more seasoned friends, we had nary a regrettable meal on our trip.>> Continue reading

Celebrate the Season: Our Favorite Holiday Songs

Last night Cindy and I kicked off our holiday season by decorating our tree, baking some treats, and turning the iTunes music library to “Christmas – shuffle.” Many of the songs you’ll find on that playlist we have learned about, and come to love, from our experiences researching, developing, and giving tours in New York. From Mexican hymns to Trinidadian party anthems, we have incorporated many of the diverse sounds, tastes, and traditions found in this city into our own household celebration of the season. Here are just some of our favorites:>> Continue reading