My article in Grist on the controversy surrounding the Pier 17 development plan:
“But now, the New Amsterdam Market is likely facing its last summer at the Seaport. In its place, the Howard Hughes Corporation plans to build a complex of luxury hotels, high-rises, and a concert venue. The city council, which recently voted to approve the company’s plan for the Seaport, is calling the development a victory for local food, but while the Hughes Corp has plans for some kind of ‘food market’ that uses local and regional ingredients, the organizer of New Amsterdam will likely not be involved, and it is unclear if any of the current vendors will, either.”
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Yesterday I observed an incredible outpouring of support for the New Amsterdam Market, whose existence may be threatened by a plan to develop Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17. Read about it in my Green Rabbits blog post:
“LaValva spoke to the Council, revealing several points about the HHC plan: (1) it would ’cause the City’s existing Lease with Howard Hughes to be amended so that the City would no longer be obliged to maintain the two remaining, historic Fulton Fish Market buildings as a market at all’; (2) ‘only office uses will be permitted in the . . . Tin Building’; and (3) that ‘the EDC and Howard Hughes have a Letter of Intent to redevelop the Fulton Fish Market site as a luxury residential high rise, hotel and retail complex. The proposed rezoning therefore enables a development that has never been revealed to the public or reviewed by the Council.’
What would any city be without markets? British scholar Carolyn Steel writes in Hungry City that pre-industrial cities ‘all [had] markets at their hearts, with routes leading to them like so many arteries carrying in the city’s lifeblood.’ Cities were always nexuses for the transport of food, and markets were considered vital rather than accessories. The New Amsterdam Market’s proposal asks that it be allowed to continue serving its loyal customers and bringing business to the surrounding restaurants and bars, but it also positions itself to take New York City back to pre-industrial days when community mattered and cities were about exchange, not just consumption.”
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Dear readers, I applaud my friend and fellow New School for Social Research alumnus, J.K. Fowler, for creating a very interesting and unique journal, Nomadic Sojourns, which takes the subject of movement as its inspiration and overall theme. The first issue came out in September and contains a memoir about my first foray into ethnographic research in Guyana as a 20-year-old college student, as well as pieces of nonfiction and fiction by writers of every shape and size. There will be readings (at which I suspect I will, at some point, read something from my piece), so stay tuned for those–but in the meantime, please take a look at the journal on McNally Jackson’s website, or walk right into their Prince Street shop and admire it on their shelves. Below is an excerpt from my piece, to tease you into shelling out the very nominal $17.99 for the beautifully-designed and one-of-a-kind journal.
“The next morning, the shaman was expecting me. Again his family joined Milton and me inside the hut. Malcolm performed the washcloth ritual once more, and then instructed me to return after lunch.
The same people were there when I came back. There were also a couple of tiny, scrappy puppies flailing about on the dirt floor, so young that they hadn’t even opened their eyes. Malcolm and Mavis were resting in hammocks, having a post-lunch nap. Malcolm’s daughter, who looked to be about five, appeared with a stick (more…)
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