One Last Trip through the Essex Street Market Before it’s Demolished [PHOTOS]
Today is an historic day.
For the first time in seventy-nine years, the Essex Street Market is no longer selling goods from any of its one-story brick warehouses. Not selling at all, in fact. Last day in business here – before crossing Delancey to its new Essex Crossing HQ – was yesterday.
With a dreary drive of rain, the weather seemed rather fitting for the sendoff. Inside, though, commerce was same as it ever was. The only difference being the dozens of moving boxes, cleared shelves, and palpable anxiety of an impending move.
As previously reported, all current vendors are making the trip to Essex Crossing (88 Essex), where they’ll be joined by a robust roster of local businesses, including Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and Exit9 Gift Shop. The new spot opens May 13.
The move is more than five years in the making, yet no less sad. You could feel one with history while shopping in this space. Knowing that feet had tread here for seven decades. That was part of the allure – nay, charm – of shopping here. The dusty skylights, the dated stalls, that din of commerce.
Yes, the new location is a huge leap forward for the Essex Market. It’s a new facility, new stalls, new start. However, it’s almost like the equivalent of your favorite indie band going mainstream; you might be happy for the success, but pissed that everyone and their mother is a fan.
And certainly not what Mayor LaGuardia had envisioned almost eighty years ago when his policy forced the Lower East Side peddlers inside.
Meanwhile, below is the farewell letter posted to Facebook:
Dear Lower East Side: Thank you for letting us serve the community for the last 79 years. We look forward to 79 more at…