Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Doings at Moore Street Market

WOW!! A really busy weekend at Moore Street. On Saturday, the 3 Kings Parador group packed in hundreds of holiday music lovers and revelers. Definitely standing room only!
On Sunday, Arts in Bushwick partnered with BEDC to deliver two family-oriented hands-on workshops. Kids (and parents, too) learned how to make prints and holiday cards out of carved sponges, producing some beautiful materials. And if you were a little too young to grasp the concept, there was always lots of paint to make pictures of all types, big and small! If the kids didn't take it with them , see it on display at the market.
And thanks to a generous donation from Moore Street tenant Body & Soul Bakery, we had 8 dozen star-shaped cookies to decorate, which the kids did with wild abandon! Enough sugar was consumed to fuel a generator, but the kids had a great time, and their parents got to chill out and talk to friends while the kids were so happily occupied.
And then Santa came with his bag of toys, hearing the Christmas wishes of every girls and boy in the market -- everyone was on their best behavior!
And last but certainly not least -- Turnstile Tours ended their Immigrant Foodways tour at the market at 1 pm, where the tourists got to eat the market food and take in the sights and sounds.
Oh, and did I mention that our Moore Street shopping bag give-away continued, and that we ran out of Pasteles Machines to sell!
We also got to meet John, who owns 80 Moore Street, just down the block -- we have to figure out how to work with him to make the block even better!
Quite a weekend!!!

Arts in Bushwick co-sponsored a children's art and cookie decorating party at Moore Street on December 16th
Even the adults got into the spirit, making block-print cards and pictures
Art work in progress!
Everyone waited patiently for Santa to come
Santa send Christmas greeting with former Market employee Hipolito and his 2-year old daughter
A Christmas cookie masterpiece!
Lauren Smith of Arts in Bushwick set up the art table
All ready for cookie decorating -- frosting, sprinkles, coconut, Hershey's kisses, colored sugar, and a whole lot more!
Santa worked overtime to make sure all the good little girls and boys got in their last-minute Christmas lists!

Please have a very happy and safe holiday!!

Joan Bartolomeo
Moore Street Market

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some Updates

Urban Farm

We got the documents from Parks Department to review this week for turning the vacant lot at 104 Moore Street into a functioning urban farm! If all goes well, we get the keys to the lot at 104 Moore Street on January 2nd, and the farming begins!

Look for a fish pond, maybe some chickens or ducks, and raised planting beds for vegetables. I'll post a picture of the proposed farm as soon as I can. But it's going to make a huge difference on Moore Street, and we're so excited about it finally happening. Thanks to Community Board 1 for throwing their support behind this project!

Public Plaza

Preparations for the reconfiguration of Humboldt Street are finally underway, as evidenced by all the street pavement markings and excavation activity. Once that's done, and Humboldt Street is reconfigured back to one lane, the Public Plaza project behind the market can begin! We're hoping for a Summer 2013 opening.

Commercial Kitchen

The plans were submitted to the city for approval the week before Hurricane Sandy! So we are behind schedule again -- but we have started bidding the work and we are aiming for a January, 2013 construction commencement. We'll be holding off renting any new stalls until that work is done, because different food vendors might be interested once the kitchen is available for use.

Joan Bartolomeo
Moore Street Market

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Lots happening at the Market this coming weekend!

  • The Three Kings band will be performing at the market this coming Saturday from 12 to 4 pm. Come and enjoy the music!
  • Flea Market weekends continue on Saturday, with vendors selling jewelry, soaps, candles, etc.
  • On Sunday, join us for a workshop with Arts In Bushwick, to learn how to make wood-block prints. Please bring the family! Hours 12-4 pm. All supplies provided, no cost.
  • Cookie decorating workshop on Sunday! We supply the cookies and the decorations -- you supply the imagination!
  • Santa will be here on Sunday, too, from 12-3 with gifts for the kids. Come for pictures and a treat!
  • Turnstile Tours Immigrant Foodways Tour comes to the Market on Sunday. See their website for more details.
The market is all decked out for the holidays -- come join us in celebration of the season!

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebrated at Moore Street

A Mariachi band led people in the market in songs celebrating the feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe. Las Gemelas sponsored the festivities offering tamales and other seasonal treats in observance of this feast day, which is widely celebrated by Mexican-Americans.

According to Wikipedia:

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.

Two accounts, published in the 1640s, one in Spanish, one in Nahuatl, tell how, while walking from his village to Mexico City in the early morning of December 9, 1531 (then the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Spanish Empire),the peasant Juan Diego saw on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac a vision of a girl of fifteen or sixteen years of age, surrounded by light. Speaking to him in Nahuatl, the local language, she asked that a church be built at that site, in her honor; from her words, Juan Diego recognized the Lady as the Virgin Mary. Diego told his story to the Spanish Archbishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, and ask the lady for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. Although December was very late in the growing season for flowers to bloom, Juan Diego found at the usually barren hilltop Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, which the Virgin arranged in his peasant tilma cloak. When Juan Diego opened the cloak before Bishop Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

Video of the performance will be posted as soon as I find the right USB connector for my phone!
Joan Bartolomeo
Moore Street Market

What is it?

Do you know what this is? This is a hand-manufactured Pasteles machine, used to grind up the plantains needed to make wrappers for pasteles. Many of these machines are made here in the basement of Market -- they are powered by washing machine motors!

Pasteles are a traditional item at Christmas time -- different fillings using meat and or vegetables are stuffed into a masa made of plantains, then wrapped in banana leaves. This is all tied up in parchment paper -- to prepare you boil them for about a half hour or steam them (debate is fierce on the "best" way to prepare them). But the finished product is a delicious, labor-intensive seasonal treat that is eaten in great quantity.

Many people learn how to prepare Pasteles by working side by side with their mothers and grandmothers, but if you don't have the time to make them yourselves, many vendors at the Market sell them by the dozen. Pop in and pick some up!

AC Tropical makes and sells hundreds of pasteles every day this time of the year!
This time of the year, we get calls from all over looking to see if we sell these machines, and they sell out within days of being made. Today, as I write this blog, we only have 2 left in the entire market. I have already gotten phone calls from three people asking if we have  them, including one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

I told the vendors they better be busy elves and make a lot more machines to meet the demand.