This Wednesday, You Can Stand up for the Essex Street Market


As has been previously noted, the Essex Street Market may be in jeopardy.

According to the Seward Park Urban Renewal Guidelines that Community Board 3 passed in January, there is a real possibility that the 71-year-old market will be moved to make room for apartment buildings and boutiques.

Many in the neighborhood are opposed to the market’s relocation, as are the market’s vendors: Last month, Anne Saxelby took to her website to voice her opposition to the plan, writing that “If the Essex Street Market were to move, it would not only lose its historic context, it would lose the soul and spirit of the place, an intangible but real thing created by merchants and customers over the past seven decades.”

The New York Times seems to agree: This weekend, a reporter paid a visit to the “airy, if unlovely, space,” and noted that “a move would disrupt the delicate ecology of the place, where relationships among vendors have been forged, and forced, by close proximity and the simple fact that nearly every shop is essentially an open-air indoor stall.”

Words of reason, of course, have historically been no match for the will and arrogance of developers and politicians. Nevertheless, you can still fight the good fight by attending this Wednesday’s CB3 Zoning and Land Use Committee meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. You can also sign an online petition to keep the market where it is, and where it should be.