Lower East Side #1 – The Hester Street Fair
August 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’ve just moved to a new neighborhood in New York. For those of you who live here, or even those who have visited, you know this is a change akin to moving to an entirely new city. Just about everything requires modification: where you shop for groceries, not to mention wine, where you take your laundry and dry cleaning, figuring out who’s got the freshest sushi, and the freshest produce.
For me, the new neighborhood is the Lower East Side. It’s Chinatown meets the Tenement Museum the Donut Plant meets Kossar’s Bialys meets meets The Stanton Social. You get the idea. So much to explore, so little time.
Today, I begin with the Hester Street Fair. Located in Seward Park, at the intersection of Essex and Hester, it’s a gem; and, like so much else in this neighborhood, it has a storied history. Established in 1895, it “was once home to New York City’s largest and oldest pushcart markets.”
Here’s what you’ll find at the Hester Street Fair: handmade jewelry and dresses; made-to-order omelets; maracons; antiques; and gourmet pretzels; and more. Go for lunch. There are picnic tables set up under white tents for you to sit and enjoy the food, and the people-watching. The fair is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., April through December, no matter the weather. You can get the map and details here.
For once, I’ll let the images speak for themselves. With one exception … the photo of Afrodesiac Worldwide (you’ve got to love the name!) does not do the product justice. There are dresses and tops, all made from African-sourced cotton in factories located in Ghana (prints that fabulous aren’t produced here any longer). And there are earrings, huge, beautiful earrings, made of old, Ghanian brass coins. It’s all art. And, one other call-out, this one from a culinary perspective, the Lemon Coconut Cookie from Sarivole Organic Bakery is soft, chewy, and flavorful. Ah, and I should mention The House of Z: a home for creative indulgence, where Amy and Drew Burchenal have freed themselves to “create with our hearts and souls.” Amy’s black-and-white, color and painted photographs, Drew’s poetry, sea glass and vintage pendant necklaces, are all worth a visit. And, next weekend, I need to get back to sample one of Luke’s Lobster Rolls … but, I digress…