A Whirlwind of Change: the Essex Street Market Revisited

October 1, 2019 update to October 2017 post!

The Essex Street Market has been reinvented one block from its original location.  I went there today hoping to like it but was disappointed.  It is a slick, clean looking place which is great, but it lacks the odd charm of the former market.  This was made strikingly clear by the fact that the old market still stands with its brightly painted facade, empty and forlorn.

What a difference two years makes.

Essex Market 2019.jpg

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Rapid change seems to be factor in any highly populated area.  New York City’s tiny barrios, sections, and areas seem to especially prone to it.  For every stalwart surviving building or business, there are dozens of shiny new additions.  I don’t travel to the Lower East Side (located south of Houston Street, north of Canal Street and East of Broadway) often, but when I do, I am struck by its rate of change.

Every building is a potential canvas, every storefront a quick-change artist.  Old, grey housing blocks await demolition and already-planned replacements warm up in the wings.

Here are a few photos that I took on Open House New York Weekend (October 14-15) of the Essex Street Market and nearby streets.  There has been a market at 120 Essex Street for more than 100 years, but this too will change next year.  The market will move from its basic but cheery building to a new “mixed use” development around the corner.  I can only hope that it doesn’t lose its charm in the process

The area around Essex Street Market

The Essex Street Market

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