Urban Garden Center has been a fixture of Spanish Harlem since the 1950’s, and today their beautiful shop occupies a massive two-block stretch along Park Avenue in the historic La Marqueta. We interviewed third-generation owner Dimitri Gatanas earlier this year to discuss spring plants, and now we’re back to discuss the plants that make the holiday season special. We’ll take a virtual tour of their seasonally-decorated space, learn about Christmas trees and other holiday plants (plus share tips on maintaining them), and discuss how this holiday season will be different from any other.>> Continue reading
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.
Take a deep dive into the history of New York City’s public markets, which have their origins in a vast food distribution system set up by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930’s. Once encompassing 10 retail markets and nearly as many wholesale facilities, today many of the historic buildings of this era remain, and these markets continue to offer affordable space for food entrepreneurs and fresh, high-quality food for shoppers throughout New York City.
This weekend marks the end of an era, as the Essex Street Market will be moving from the building it has occupied since 1940 into a new facility across Delancey St in the Essex Crossing development. The new Essex Market will have nearly all the same vendors as the old market, plus 15 additions, in a larger space that will be more convenient for shoppers and vendors.
The old market building had its own charms, and it represented an important period in New York City’s history, when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia fought to keep food affordable for New Yorkers and to provide indoor space for the city’s growing population of street vendors in the midst of the Great Depression. As we say goodbye to the old market, we are looking back at the history of the city’s public markets, and what happened to the rest of them. >> Continue reading
The Essex Street Market opened for business on the morning of January 9, 1940 in what the New York Times described as, “one of the shortest dedication ceremonies on record.” Beckoned by the celebratory music of the Parks Department band, a crowd of over 3,500 residents gathered on this blustery winter morning out front of the newly-built market for the 15-minute ceremony.