Race to Hunts Point: Gamifying New York’s Food System | Episode 121

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

Hunts Point in the Bronx is the world’s largest food distribution center, yet few New Yorkers have ever visited. In order to demystify this place and the city’s food system, designers Lilian Yi-Hsuan Lin, Ángel Lamar Oliveras, and Beverly Chou created Race to Hunts Point, a strategy board game designed for high school students in which players must use resources to successfully operate cultivation, shipping, and trading processes in the food supply chain. In this virtual program, Lilian will walk us through the design, fabrication, and gameplay of Race to Hunts Point, which was created through the FWRD Fellowship for designers and engineers with NYCEDC’s Futureworks.

>> Continue reading

Voices of Essex Market with Feed Me A Story | Episode 75

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

Virtual Visit to Williamsburg’s Moore Street Market | Episode 73

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

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

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

Feeding NYC: The History of the Supermarket | Episode 64

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

During the pandemic, supermarkets are the few public places that people still frequent, so this is a perfect time to look back at the history of grocery stores in America and New York City. From Piggly Wiggly to Whole Foods to Korean grocers, this virtual program will look at important moments in the evolution of food markets over the past century, including the creation of modern consumer food packaging, the rise and fall of grocery chains, and the impact of suburbanization. We will also look at how retailers have adapted to the unique challenges of operating in New York City, and how we are all adapting to shopping in a world with COVID-19. This program is presented with support from Brooklyn Historical Society.

>> Continue reading

A Year in Review at Essex Market | Episode 63

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

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

Explore Brooklyn’s Avenue of Puerto Rico | Episode 33

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

Explore the history of Graham Avenue, Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and take an in-depth look at the businesses and people of this community, including the historic Moore Street Market, and the department stores, butcher shops, and pushcarts of the past and present. Turnstile Tours has worked in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, and this program is based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners and on original archival research that we will share during this session.

>> Continue reading

The History of NYC Public Markets, Part 2 | Episode 22

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

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

The History of NYC Public Markets, Part 1 | Episode 7

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

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.

>> Continue reading

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