Lulav Vendors Ready for Sukkot on Essex Street [PHOTOS]

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 at 10:24 am by
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The day after Yom Kippur traditionally kickstarts the bum-rush to the next Jewish holiday – Sukkot. As youngsters, our family would spirit down to the Lower East Side to pick up the Lulav and Etrog. Haggling with the Orthodox Jews on Essex Street who manned the tables that bustled with product.

With the passage of each year, though, the cynic within feels that it’ll likely be the last. However, they continue to return, even as hyper-gentrification has not only mounted the proverbial doorstep, but entered. Yes, Essex Crossing is coming…

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon was a lesson in cultural dissonance near Canal and Essex Streets. While hundreds of foodie fans flocked to the Hester Fair for the Grub Street Festival to spend $5 on artisanal cotton candy and $9 on pizza, observant Jews were seen scrambling to purchase the Lulav and Etrog. We counted six different peddlers, which is seemingly an uptick from years past.

For those seeking the “four species,” the oft-employed trick is always to head over on the final day, before sundown heralds Sukkot, when vendors need to ditch their worthless supplies.

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Just up the block, a sukkah was simultaneously assembled outside the defunct Shalom Chai pizzeria. With a new Kosher vegetarian restaurant moving here in the coming months, we can expect to see these seasonal structures in the future. But no more for Noah’s Ark.

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