Friday, November 30, 2012

Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- December 12th

Las Gemelas (#6) will be celebrating the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe by offering traditional holidays foods like tamales to thier customers. Come join us!

 Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe

Miercoles, Deciembre 12th
10 – 12 am

Las Gemelas
La Marqueta de Williamsburg
110 Moore Street, Stall #6
Brooklyn, New York 11206

 Celebre la Fiesta con nosotros

Tamales y comidas tradicional

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Great Tours from Turnstile Tours -- Immigrant Foodways December 16th

Turnstile Tours

The Spirit of the Season

World War II Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Charity Christmas Tours of historic Brooklyn church
Immigrant Foodways Tour and holiday events
Helping our neighbors recover from Sandy
Showing images to a tour group at dry dock one in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

"The Can-Do Yard": World War II Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Our newest tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has launched, and we hope you will join us to explore this fascinating history. We already have been honored to host two World War II veterans on this tour – one who served in the Merchant Marine, another in the Navy – and they have shared powerful and moving stories with our visitors. We are pleased to offer free admission to any World War II veterans, and discounted tickets to military veterans of all ages.

During World War II, the Brooklyn Navy Yard played a pivotal role in the American war effort – it built or repaired over 5,000 ships, sent troops and supplies to fronts across the globe, and the tireless efforts of its 70,000 workers earned it the nickname "The Can Do Yard." This tour will examine the role of the New York City waterfront in the war effort, explore connections between the Yard and famous battles of World War II, and visit sites of significance that remain from this era, including the Naval Hospital campus, the Naval Film Exchange, a working dry dock, and even businesses outside the Yard that switched to wartime production. By visiting these sites, hearing the stories of workers and sailors, and examining historical images and documents from the period, we hope to evoke a sense of what the Yard was like during the war and illuminate the historical legacies that persist to this day.

This tour is being offered in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92.

Upcoming tour dates:

Sunday, December 2nd
Saturday, December 8th
Sunday, January 6th

Time: 11:00AM-1:00PM
Tickets: $30 per person

Click here for tickets & information

We also offer our 2-hour overview tour of the Yard every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00PM.

Be sure to read our blog, where we'll be sharing great stories about the Yard's history, and check out wonderful photos taken by our friend David Berkowitz on the Veterans Day launch of this tour.

Image Source (Above): David Berkowitz
Father Timothy Dore and Cindy VandenBosch in Santa caps

Tour an Historic Brooklyn Church and Support Families in Need

In the Spirit of the Season: A Christmas Tour of the Parish Grounds of Most Holy Trinity-St Mary
Discover the beautiful church and parish grounds of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary, built in 1885 as “The German Cathedral” and described in author Betty Smith’s famous novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Led by Father Timothy Dore and Turnstile’s founder Cindy VandenBosch, this tour will venture up into the bell tower, down into the crypt, and even take a peek into the German-themed Rathskeller rectory.  Attendees will learn about the origins of many Christmas traditions, highlighting the parish's early beginnings in the mid-1800s with stories of the origins of Santa Claus and Christmas trees, and discussing more recent immigrants from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Poland, who have brought new traditions to the church, from Noche Buena to the Three Kings Day Parade.

All proceeds from the tour go to benefit Trinity Human Service Center, a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that provides food and social services for needy families in Brooklyn. Cindy has been proud to offer this tour experience for four years, and it has helped to raise thousands of dollars for struggling families – we hope you will join us this season.

Saturday, December 15th, 2:30-4:30PM
Saturday, January 5th, 2:30-4:30PM
Tickets: $20 per person. Space is limited, so advance ticket purchase is required.
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Most Holy Trinity-St Mary Church

Explore Latin American Food and Culture in Williamsburg

Immigrant Foodways Tour
Our Immigrant Foodways Tour takes you on a journey through the sights, sounds, and flavors of the diverse Latin American cultures that come together in Brooklyn's East Williamsburg neighborhood. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the neighborhood serves up herbal teas from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional foods from Latin American countries. Based on interviews with neighborhood residents, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” – once the heart of a Jewish community – and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. By the end, you’ll be equipped with new knowledge about Latin American ingredients and a booklet of traditional recipes to help you recreate the tastes and smells of the market in your own home.

Sunday, December 16th, 10:30AM-1:00PM
Tickets: $42 per person. Advance ticket purchase is required.

Click here for tickets & information

Holiday Events in Williamsburg

In addition to our Christmas Church tour and Immigrant Foodways tour, there are many other holiday events going on this time of year in East Williamsburg. The Graham Avenue Business Improvement District will be running its Holly Jolly Trolley this year to transport shoppers around the neighborhood. The trolley will operate on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Christmas season from 11AM to 3PM. For more information, visit the Graham Avenue BID's website. The neighborhood's annual Three Kings Day Parade will take place Sunday, January 6th, along Graham Avenue, and will feature menagerie of animals – including a camel! – in its procession (if you want to learn about the origins of the nativity scene, come on our Christmas Church Tour!).

Special Holiday Food Cart Tours

Throughout the holiday season, we will continue to offer our Food Cart Tours on our regular schedule – Wednesdays in the Financial District, Fridays in Midtown – but with a special twist. Tours in December will include special holiday content, including stories about New York City's sidewalk Christmas tree vendors and roasted chestnut sellers, and holiday foods and traditions from the home countries of the immigrant vendors we work with. With Manhattan already abuzz with the holiday spirit, we hope these tours will offer unique insight into holiday traditions and foods. If you have family in town or you're just visiting New York for the holidays, our Food Cart Tours are a great family experience.

Financial District, Wednesdays, 12:00PM-2:00PM
Midtown, Fridays, 2:00PM-4:00PM

Click here for tickets and information

Help New York City Recover from Sandy

Many of our partners, friends, and family were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy. In the days and weeks since the storm, our team has tried to do what we can to help in the relief efforts, but there is still so much to be done. Many of the street vendors we work with were affected, as Manhattan's Financial District experienced massive flooding, forcing many of them out of their regular locations and causing them to lose customers they had relied on for years to support their small businesses. But street vendors have stepped up to the plate in Sandy relief (read about this on our blog), bringing their mobile kitchens to the hardest-hit areas of the city to provide hot meals for families in need, free of charge, thanks to support from crowd-sourcing campaigns and generous donors. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was also hit hard by Sandy's storm surge, and roughly 25 of the Yard's 275 businesses suffered losses in inventory and equipment – some were even taken offline completely, and remain so to this day. Both IceStone, a manufacturer of countertops made from recycled glass, and Ted & Honey, the cafĂ© inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, have launched campaigns through the crowdfunding platform Smallknot to help them get back on their feet. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation is working hard to provide support for the tenants and workers at the Yard, but every bit helps.

The outpouring of support from individuals and organizations during this crisis has been incredible, and we have been deeply moved by people's generosity, selflessness, and hard work. We would like to extend special acknowledgement to some of the groups that we have worked with, including Occupy Sandy, COJECO, Team Rubicon, and the New York City Food Truck Association. Cindy has compiled a list of resources that you can use to donate money, supplies, or your time to the people in need. It has been a month since the storm, but there are still thousands of families without homes and in need of support. As the weather gets colder and the prospect of spending the holidays without a home, job, or belongings, that support becomes ever more critical. Thank you for your help.

How you can help victims of Sandy.

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Upcoming Tours

Fri, Nov 30
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 1
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Sun, Dec 2
World War II Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Wed, Dec 5
Financial Dist Food Cart Tour
Fri, Dec 7
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 8
World War II Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Sun, Dec 9
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Wed, Dec 12
Financial Dist Food Cart Tour

Fri, Dec 14
Midtown Food Cart Tour
Sat, Dec 15
Christmas Church Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour

Sun, Dec 16
Immigrant Foodways Tour
Brooklyn Navy Yard Overview Tour
Plastic deer Christmas lawn ornament

Gift Certificates Available for the Holidays!

Give the gift of a unique New York City experience this holiday season. Gift certificates can be purchased by tour or dollar amount. Give the gift of an historical tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a strolling lunch of street food, or a weekend visit to an historic public market!

Purchase Gift Certificates
Brian and food vendors

Write a review! Tell your friends!

If you recently joined us for a tour, we would greatly appreciate it if you wrote a review of your experience on our TripAdvisor page. Online reviews go a long way in helping us reach more customers and improve our experiences. We rely a great deal on word-of-mouth, so please, tell your friends and family about your tour and help us get the word out about or small but growing company. And we always welcome your feedback if you would like to send it to us directly at
People unloading supplies for Sandy relief in Coney Island

From our blog

Neighborhood Eats Tour from Urban Oyster

Our friends at Urban Oyster offer a wonderful food tour of Brooklyn's Smith and Court Streets, highlighting a vibrant mix of small, locally-owned, artisanal food shops, both old and new. Stops on the tour include Italian and Middle Eastern shops that have long been staples of the neighborhood, as well as the growing scene of cafes and restaurants specializing in New American cuisine. While you enjoy their delicacies, you will also learn about the neighborhood's rich history and get to meet the local business owners.

Tours are offered Saturdays, 1-4PM

Tickets & information
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Monday, November 26, 2012

ArtsINBushwick Mural Contest at Moore Street Market

 ArtsINBushwick presents its 2012-2013 Community Mural Project: How Does Food Unite People?

Arts in Bushwick is inviting you to enter a mural design contest for high school students in Bushwick! You can enter the contest by creating a mural design that answers the question “How Does Food Unite People?” The winning selection will be transformed into an amazing outdoor mural at the Moore Street Retail Market (La Marqueta de Williamsburg), in the spring of 2013. You can participate in the contest, or on the mural team, or both!
All mural design contest entries must be received by December 22nd. The
mural team will begin meeting and painting in Spring on 2013. All entries will be on display during a special exhibition at the Moore Street Retail Market. The final project will be showcased during Arts in Bushwick’s Bushwick Open Studios in June 2013.
You can participate by entering the contest, or by signing up to be on the mural
team, or both! You can sign up with your art teacher.
The Details:
Contest Theme:
How Does Food Unite People?
Create a mural design proposal on an 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of paper that answers this year’s theme question “How Does Food Unite People?” and include a short written statement (no more than 1 page) explaining how your design answers this question.
Along with the mural design proposal and written statement, please include the following: Your name, grade level and the name of your school or after school program. Please turn in your entry to your teacher.

Submission Guidelines:
High school students in grades 9-12 that attend school or an after school program in Bushwick, New York may enter the contest. Submissions may be
submitted individually or they can be a collaborative group idea (i.e. group of friends, or a class). Entries must directly respond to the contest theme and must be respectful of all members of the community.

Winning Entry
The winning entry will be chosen by a jury. All entries will be on display at the Market during a special exhibit. Winners will be chosen based on creativity and consideration of appropriateness to the theme. GOOD LUCK!

Greenpoint Gazette -- November 16, 2012

Joan Bartolomeo (seaking) and Yemi Amu make presentation at Communitoy Board 1 meeting

A Vacant Slot, a Sliver of Light, and a Greener Tomorrow

At 104 Moore Street, a vacant lot adjacent to a liquor store sits neglected and decrepit. Residents without trash pickup dump their garbage there, weeds tangle up to six feet high, and “regulars” have begun to loiter on the block. There is no storefront property here, and thus no anti-loitering law. The lot is the quintessential North Brooklyn eyesore, only making the news as the scene of a car accident last month, when a reversing elderly motorist crushed the fence and struck three pedestrians.

Now it looks like the eyesore is about to go away. A proposal from Joan Bartolomeo, president of the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), was recently approved by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to turn the lot into an urban farm extension of the Moore Street Market (aka La Marqueta de Williamsburg).

The urban farm represents one facet in what has been a continued revival of La Marqueta by the BEDC. The indoor market has been open for nearly 70 years, and is a landmark of the Hispanic Williamsburg community. While the city owns the building itself, the BEDC has been in charge of running the space since January 2009.

On Wednesday night, Bartolomeo and urban farmer Yemi Amu presented their vision of a greener Moore Street at a Community Board 1 meeting. Getting a letter of approval from the Board was the last hurdle before converting the uncomely lot into something more useful. CB 1’s Land Use Committee recommended approval of the urban farm extension, which was proposed at no additional cost to the neighborhood and the complete board voted on and approved the proposal at Wednesday’s meeting. Through earmark spending, the BEDC has secured well over $1 million at the federal, city, and borough level.

With money and community support, the only real issue, it seems, is daylight for the crops. The 2500 sq ft plot is obstructed by its neighbors, and as such receives very little sun. That forces Amu and her fellow farmers to think creatively about how to best utilize the space.

Currently, they plan to use the sun-deprived areas to raise small animals. Chickens will provide eggs, and rabbits will provide fertilizer. That fertilizer will be consumed by worms, which will in turn be consumed by fish in a pond or tank. The fish droppings will then fertilize the farm’s plant life through hydroponic growing techniques, and when the plants are fed to the rabbits, what’s known as a closed-loop farm will be completed.

The produce best suited to the limited sunlight includes a lot of greens such as kale and lettuce, root vegetables like carrots and radishes, and fungi like mushrooms. The BEDC hopes the neighboring market can benefit directly from the farm’s output by selling the greens to local shoppers and organic Brooklyn restaurants. They also plan to work with local public schools to make the farm an educational experience for youngsters, and a summer camp come June.

Whether all those plans come to pass or only some, many in the community are excited a secure green space is coming to fruition. With the board’s vote, the garden will hopefully see the light of day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can Fish Poop Change the World?!

Fish fuel farm! Bushwick’s Moore Street Market to boast ‘aquaponic’ garden

The Brooklyn Paper

She and her partner Jonathan Boe have spent the past year setting up small aquaponic gardens — closed systems that use fish feces and water to feed plants — and now they’re planning their masterwork: a fish poop-powered urban farm at the Moore Street Market in Bushwick. “It saves water and you don’t need a lot of space,” said Amu, who is constructing the urban oasis under the moniker Oko Farms. “You can do more than you could do with a soil-based garden and you get both fish and vegetables.”

An aquaponic system filters waste from freshwater fish — think tilapia, goldfish, or koi — using a bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrates: plants’ favorite food.

“All you have to do is feed the fish high-quality food and it does the rest itself,” said Amu. So far, Amu and Boe have set up five aquaponic systems around the city, including one at the Breukelen Coffee House on Franklin Avenue that is already producing basil, mustard greens, and mint.“They’re going to start serving sandwiches and use the vegetables,” Amu said.They also installed a small aquaponic system inside the Moore Street Market several weeks ago and are waiting for the soil to have enough nitrates to plant vegetables.

But the outdoor farm planned for the vacant lot next door to the market is far leap from any of their earlier projects. “We want to use it to grow vegetables that will be used by the vendors in the market and also use it for community education and to teach kids about urban agriculture,” said market manager Joan Bartolomeo, who is also the president of the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation.

It was Bartolomeo’s idea to bring new life to the unused lot, which was the site of a vacant home until the city purchased the plot and demolished the building in the mid-aughts while officials flirted with the idea of tearing down the Moore Street Market and constructing housing.When city planners changed their mind about closing the market, the lot became overgrown with weeds and strewn with liquor bottles.
The proposal has earned the support of Community Board 1 and must still win approval from the city, but by next spring, Bartolomeo hopes it will be in bloom.

“The lot is hemmed in by buildings and there’s not a lot of sunlight, so it seemed like something other than traditional planting methods would be best,” she said. “And since we don’t get southern exposure, we’re going to plant a lot of leafy greens.”

Amu and Boe plan to build a greenhouse to contain the fish farm, which they say can thrive even during a chilly Brooklyn winter. “If you dig the pond deep enough, the fish can go to the bottom where it’s warmer,” said Amu. “Or you use seasonal fish — once it’s cold, you harvest the tilapia and add a cold water fish like trout. Just like you grow winter crops when it’s cold, you grow winter fish.”

Similar stories

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Busy Saturday at Moore Street Market -- Plantains Flying Out The Door!

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, the pastele-making frenzy has begun! Cases and cases of plantains are selling out, along with all the filling ingredients.

We started our holiday shopping bag give-away today -- spend $5 with any merchant and get a canvas Moore Street tote. Business has been brisk today. We'll be giving away shopping bags every weekend through Christmas.

Some new vendors joined us this month: All Star Cuts unisex hair salon, owned by Jose Colon, who grew up just 3 blocks from the market; and Delicias Tainas, selling traditional Puerto Rican food and owned by neighborhood resident Pablo Rivera. Two Girls & Two Pups Bake Shop is on temporary hiatus until the commercial kitchen is complete and they can prepare their full menu of baked goods -- look for them in a few weeks.

Arturo Rivera is back again with his weekend jewelry and accessories counter -- the November weekend flea market is back next weekend, and will run every weekend through Christmas.

Here are some photos of a busy market!

Arturo Rivera's jewelry stand

Pablo Rivera, left, of Delicias Tainas

Delicias Tainas in action

"Meatball" distributing shopping bags

Maria of Botanica Esperanza

All American Coffe Shop is packed

AC Tropical, packing them in!

Jose Colon and customer, All Star Cuts

Abby's Food, with lines for plantains

The always busy Ramonitas Restaurant
Daily menu, Delicias Tainas

Stay tuned for information about our holiday events schedule. First on track -- an art workshop for the entire family on how to make wood-block prints. We are doing this jointly with Arts In Bushwick on Sunday, December 16th -- more details to follow. Hope you can join us!

And rumor is that Santa will be here as well -- he'll let us know when he checks his very busy schedule. Until then, have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

P.S. Community Board 1 approved our plan for an urban farm at 104 Moore Street -- hope to be tilling soil before the end of the year!

Joan Bartolomeo
Moore Street Market