Thursday, June 25, 2015


There are too many blocks to walk down, too many streets to explore, too many hidden treasures that go missed until one day you discover the unexpected. I stumbled on Gansevoort Market on my way to the new Whitney. The market has its origins dating back to the 1880's when an early morning parade of horse drawn wagons would congregate on the former site of Fort Gansevoort laying out their bounty of fresh produce, meats and dairy.
The new incarnation of the market now operates out of an old warehouse on cobbled stoned Gansevoort Street in the old meatpacking district. It rolled open its garage-like doors in October of 2014 with an array of small vendors selling their wares out of more contemporary versions of the previous market's covered wagons.
Aligned in rows in much the same way they would have been over a hundred years ago it's an epicurean's field day inside the open but air-conditioned market.  The minute you walk into the timber and brick building you're struck by the color and smell of cuisine on the make. This ain't no Mickey D's.
In the back is a sky-lit seating area festooned with a canopy of twisted vines that seem to grow out of the floor forming an enchanted garden perfect for sitting and enjoying your meal. This open sitting area surrounded by an assortment of food vendors is an idea swiped from food courts inhabiting malls in every major and minor city in the country, but here it's done right.
There's an international theme running from booth to booth making it almost impossible to decide which nation is going to make your taste bud compass point in that direction.
There's the traditional Colombian arepas, a sort of tortilla that is prepared in both sweet and savory varieties, at Palenque.
Or you can traverse the Atlantic for crepes prepared the way the French do with drizzled chocolate and fresh cut strawberries.
The hombres of Tocmbi have driven another of their VW vintage vans with the roofs sawed off serving tacos, enchiladas and their homebrewed teas and lemonades.
You could also zigzag your way across the aisles and take a trip to Spain at Donosita with their market of regionally inspired fair
or go on to Italy for a slice of pizza or some chicken parmesan.
I opted for a lobster roll and chips with a blueberry infused lemonade.
Then I went in search of dessert. Every meal of mine has to end with a touch of sweet and the choices at Gansevoort Market makes it difficult to land on just one. The carnival of color at Dana's Bakery made my eyes itch from visual sugar shock but there's no way I can pass up red velvet and here there were several to choose from.
I could go with the red velvet moon pies sitting next to the sprinkle crusted donuts but my final decision was to go with the red velvet twinkie.
How could anyone refuse a red velvet cake in the shape of a Baby Boomer's staple stuffed with sour cream icing?
Then if, like me, you were doing this journey unaccompanied, you could always buy a bouquet to take home to allay your guilt. The market left no stone unturned. If you get a chance please go see for yourself.

Gansevoort Market Opening Day, 1907
Photographer, unknown
Photo image from the Museum of the City of New York

1 comment:

  1. Think I may have added weight just reading! Did you see Bill Cunningham's video on hats?