Tuesday, August 16, 2005

East Harlem, On the Move


East Harlem is a lively, densely populated neighborhood (I wrote about small business development there awhile back), and yet its historic public market, La Marqueta, under the Metro North rail line from 111th to 119th, has all but disappeared. Many efforts to revive the market have failed, but that may be about to change. The East Harlem Business Capital Corporation has secured rights from the city to redevelop the market, and the Project for Public Spaces and the Ford Foundation gave the market a $200,000 grant to get the ball rolling. While the EHBCC gets the rest of the financing together, a much smaller version of the market was launched just last weekend under the rail line between 115-116th Streets. On Aug. 28, a Mexican festival called Tianguis, with food, music and vendors, will take place on that site as well. “We’re recruiting farmers and local vendors for the space,” Elizabeth Col√≥n, executive director of EHBCC, told Polis. “The vision for the future is to develop and restore it to a functioning public market with a lot of opportunities for small businesses to grow.”