Essex Market Celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a Month of Festivities

Posted on: April 27th, 2015 at 10:10 am by
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The second annual Lower East Side History Month is just a few days away. Yet this year, the celebration coincides nicely with the anniversary of a neighborhood institution. Yes, the Essex Street Market turns 75 years young in May. Certainly a milestone for a brick warehouse initially intended to house the Depression-era pushcarts.

Throughout the month of May, local businesses are coming together – both within and without the market space – to host eight unique events. Below is a quick summary for calendar purposes. A commemorative block party on May 31 will cap the festivities.

Market-wide photo exhibition in collaboration with the Lower East Side Girls Club (May 1 – May 30)
The exhibit will include images from the LES Girls Club documentation of the neighborhood.

Stories/LES (May 1)
Much like last year, chalk will be doled out so that participants can write stories or thoughts on the sidewalk.

Artist Alliance Inc. Art Exhibits (May 1 – May 30)
The organization will curate “innovative” installations throughout the Essex Market to engage shoppers.

miLES Small Business Stories (May 4 – May 31)
You can get to know the market vendors via this interview series on display at the visitors center stall (north entrance at Rivington).

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Original 1930s-era rendering for the Essex Market

Tenement Talks (May 6)
Lead by Lower East Side Tenement Museum senior educator Adam Steinberg, the discussion will feature market vendors offering their perspectives on business ownership and the evolution of the market.

LES History Project Talk (May 7)
Eric Ferrara, author and founder of the LES History Project, will talk about the immigrant composition of the neighborhood, and how the market fits in that story.

miLES Brunch Series (May 16 – May 17)
A two-day brunch series hosted by the LES Brunch Club featuring a “multi-course meal created by guest chefs sourced solely from fresh ingredients found at the Essex Market.”

Essex Street Market 75th Birthday Block Party (May 30, noon)
Guests are urged to celebrate with local chefs from Cafe Katja, Schapiro’s and Spur Tree. There will be barbecuing, live music, raffles, and the “world’s biggest birthday cake.”

In addition, the Econcomic Development Corporation – owner and operator – will concurrently deploy a “street seat” installation to the sidewalk. The goal (and hope) is to attract more customers to the market.

The Essex Market as we know it will cease to exist in a few years. Once the 24-story Essex Crossing tower on Site 2 is completed (approximately 2018), vendors will jump across Delancey Street to the new facility.

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