Essex Market - New Location

#1

Looks great! I need to check it out soon. Wasn’t fond of the the old location, just a very drab depressing space with no meaningful historical appeal.

Love this aspect of the relocation. NYC needs more efforts like this to support the smaller mom & pop businesses & preserve the soul of the city.
"While vendors were setting up — all at the city’s expense and at the same rent price per square foot "

#2

I went yesterday (it’s my local market) and can report that it’s very nice, but also very odd to see everything all bright and shiny and spread out. I loved the old market and did not find it depressing at all. It was a homey, friendly place. I don’t need “meaningful historical appeal” when I’m buying lemons.

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#3

…just a very drab depressing space with no meaningful historical / aesthetic appeal that warrants resisting renovations or an upgrade.

Whenever I stopped in it evoked a communist era supermarket, albeit better stocked and friendlier vendors. I seriously doubt the businesses are lamenting the loss of the old space. Like upgrading from a C to a new A-class office building…personal experience - improves employee morale.

#4

They have mixed feelings. Many of them feel a sense of community that they worry will be lost when the place becomes Chelsea Market-ified. If you’re interested, here’s a video series in which the vendors discuss their thoughts on the move.

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#5

Hmmmm I can see your point.

There was similar effort in LA at the privately owned Grand Central Market when they upgraded the facilities several years ago. Initially the mission was preservation etc. When the crowds started increasing, it unfortunately went down the path of Chelsea market. It’s better known these days for the expensive food stands and a tourist magnet. There are a few mom & pop businesses remaining but I think they eventually will be gone too.

I’m conflicted on how the market has evolved, on one hand there have been some reasonably priced great new stores. And certainly there were some prior vendors where it was time for a change. On the other hand, it’s no longer affordable for lower income shoppers, more along the lines of Ferry market (although not anywhere quite that crazy). I certainly don’t see many of their previous clientele shopping anymore these days.

It will be interesting to see how long the city can keep the fancy chains or hipster eateries at bay before they cave to the prospect of collecting more revenue.

#6

I made my second visit today, to have lunch at Shopsin’s.

Pros: (slightly) more elbow room at the counter and a conspicuous lack of people knocking you in the back; comparably expansive view of inside of kitchen + inside of market, rather than inside of kitchen + wall.

Cons: constant - and I mean constant - stream of tourists asking where the menu is (on the wall - note the giant arrow pointing to it), and what the hours are (that info’s on the menu - see it? it’s on the wall, right over there).

I imagine things will simmer down some once the novelty wears off. But at 1pm on a weekday, the place was hoppin’ - everywhere, not just Shopsin’s - and that was not the case at the old market. Good news? Bad news? Too soon to tell.

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#7

I do sincerely hope this will work out to be a win-win development for all involved.

I’m going to be part of that tourist horde this weekend :laughing:

#8

It was mobbed on Saturday! I think the place looks great. Met some of your neighbors, they seemed happy with the change. Vendors varied from delighted to overwhelmed by the crowds, more positive than negative I think.

Time will tell how it fares, Chelsea-fied or remain an affordable local market.

Some mislabeling going on here.

#9

Hah! I was there Saturday as well, and I remember thinking “those crabs do NOT look live.” I mostly hung out upstairs, went to the kimchi-making demo and listened to the music.

#10

:rofl: I wasn’t the only one.

So what was your impression on your 2nd (?) visit?

#11

My fourth, actually. I’m looking forward to not having to fight the crowds, but at least the aisles are wide ('ve gotten spoiled by our gigantic Trader Joe’s). I wish Essex had a decent fish market. I think we lost one of the two from the old market, not that that one was anything to write home about, either.