New York City’s Public Markets, Past and Present

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

Russ & Daughters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

A bright but old-fashioned looking neon sign at a retail shop that has a fish graphics and reads Russ and Daughters Bagels and Lox appetizing since 1914

Founded in 1914 on the Lower East Side by Jewish immigrant Joel Russ, Russ & Daughters is a New York institution. Now a fourth-generation business run by Joel’s great-grandchildren Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman, they have expanded from their Houston Street store to cafés on Orchard Street and at the Jewish Museum, and now a new retail store, company headquarters, and commercial bakery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Food Manufacturing Hub at Building 77. Here they serve their impeccable selection of perfectly-sliced smoked and cured fish, and their fresh-from-the-oven baked goods like bagels, rugelach, black and white cookies, challah, and more. Come stock up on nosh essentials, or grab a bagel sandwich for breakfast or lunch.

Building 77, 141 Flushing Ave // Open Every Day, 8:30am–4:30pm // More Info

PIX11 News: History of Food Carts and Vendors in NYC is Celebrated

Pix News logo with white text on blue background and an image that looks like the symbol for a pause button

PIX 11 News, aired November 29, 2017

by Greg Mocker

Greg Mocker of PIX 11 News not only attended our panel discussion at the Museum at Eldridge Street, which included panelists from the Street Vendor Project, 800BuyCart, Cinnamon Snail, Veronica’s Kitchen, and moderated by our own Cindy VandenBosch, he also made sure that he tried some street food from Midtown’s Royal Halal, one of our favorites.

>> Read more

The Great War and NYC: Street Vendors and Public Markets

A mail truck transformed into a market wagon carrying food

April 6, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War. America’s involvement was comparatively brief, yet the war had massive impacts on American society. This year, we will be posting a series of articles about the ways in which the war affected the sites where we work in New York City.


New York City was far removed from the battlefields, occupied territories, and blockaded countries locked in the struggle of the First World War. While many of those places experienced food rationing, shortages, even deadly famines, the US was largely spared these deprivations. Nevertheless, the war was extremely disruptive to the food system of the nation and New York City, leading to the creation of new modes of food distribution to respond to this national crisis.>> Continue reading

Food for Good: How Non-Profits Are Creating Change Through Food

An Essex Street Market “Talk & Taste” event about food-based social enterprise

Many organizations are recognizing the value of entrepreneurship and culinary arts to inspire young people, build their skills, and equip them for challenges ahead. At this Talk & Taste event, offered in partnership with the Essex Street Market Vendors Association, we brought together three organizations that see the incredible value of food. The panel discussion included Lyn Pentecost, executive director of the Lower East Side Girls Club, and one of their longtime participants, Jocelyn. The Girls Club not only offers programs and facilities for young women to learn about cooking, but their La Tiendita stall in the Essex Street Market offers them the opportunity to learn the retail side as well, selling baked goods, aprons, potholders, and other textiles made by their participants. Jordyn Lexton is the founder Drive Change, a nonprofit that works with young people who have had contact with the criminal justice system, and operates for-profit enterprises run by their participant, including the Vendy Award-winning Snow Day food truck. Reconnect works with a similar population, helping young men in Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, and Williamsburg who have become “disconnected” to gain skills and confidence by running businesses, including the Reconnect Graphics print shop, Reconnect Café, and the Reconnect Bakery in the Moore Street Market. We were joined by Reconnect’s founder, Father Jim O’Shea, bakery manager Daytoine Shaw, and one of his bakers, Rayvon.

[UPDATE 7/10/17: We are deeply saddened to have to share the news that Daytoine Shaw of Reconnect Bakery passed away suddenly last week. Daytoine was an incredible baker, mentor, and friend, and we will miss him terribly.]

If you missed the event, you can watch the whole discussion below or on our Facebook page.

>> Continue reading

Press Release: Turnstile Tours Launches New Weekly Tour of Essex Street Market Sept. 25

The outside of a market that's painted colorfully with designs that include painted vegetables, fruit, and geometric shapes

Turnstile Tours & Essex Street Market Vendors Association launch weekly 90-minute tasting tours of the market, every Sunday beginning September 25

Tours include 5–7 tastings and opportunities to meet the community of vendors and learn about the rich history of this Lower East Side institution

September 15, 2016, New York, NY — Weekly guided tours are coming to the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market later this month. New York City-based tour company Turnstile Tours is working with the Essex Street Market Vendors Association (ESMVA) to offer 90-minute market tours every Sunday at 11:30am. While many neighborhood walking tours around the Lower East Side make brief stops at the market, this tour gives visitors an in-depth look at this neighborhood institution. >> Continue reading