Will New Amsterdam Market Survive & Flourish?

2013-03-14 06.32.08Yesterday 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.”