Thursday, November 29, 2007
Fiorello LaGuardia And the Essex Street Market
The market was a shopping destination for many in Knickerbocker Village
Essex Street Market began in 1940 as part an effort by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia to find a new place for street merchants to do business. At the time, pushcarts and vendors crowded the city streets, making it difficult for police and fire vehicles to easily pass. To ease congestion, Mayor LaGuardia created the Essex Street Market and several other indoor retail markets throughout the city.
In the early years, Essex Street Market’s identity was shaped by the Lower East Side’s Jewish and Italian immigrants, who served as both the merchants and the customers. Local residents got personalized service as they gathered to browse a diverse collection of goods and sundries including flowers, meats, clothing and fresh produce.
Beyond its intended function as a shopping destination, the Market also developed into a social environment where residents came to connect and share ideas.
The images on the slide show come from the Essex Street Market site. The information above as well. I added some ambient market sounds. The market after years of decline is making a bit of a comeback.