This past Sunday, I walked to the New Amsterdam Market, the outdoor market of local food purveyors that occupies the space outside the old Fulton Fish Market, in order to pick up a few items for dinner and to look at whatever caught my fancy along the way. From City Hall through Broadway-Nassau to the East River, the narrow streets in this old section of the city seem to guard their old secrets. The new giant towers down here, including Frank Gehry's 8 Spruce Street and the rising 1 WTC, may push them into greater obscurity, literally and figuratively.
After starting my walk at the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway station, I paused for a minute to watch dancers outside City Hall Park. In the background, I took in the recent renovations of the ornate Beaux Arts building that was originally the Hall of Records (1899-1907), now known as Surrogate's Court (31 Chambers).
Continuing the walk through the Broadway-Nassau area, Nassau Street looked particularly antiquarian this past Sunday, especially with the street torn up. Except for the postwar glass office tower in the background, I could easily mistake my own photograph for a picture of the street from a hundred years ago.
Down Ann Street and then to Williams Street, I stopped on Williams to notice the handsome entrance of the Royal Insurance Company Building, a building from 1927 by Starrett & Van Vleck. The building sits on a whole block and is tapered to the top with a Classical temple.
Walking down Fulton Street to the Seaport, I turned around for a moment and was caught off guard by the sight of the gigantic One World Trade Center, now in progress (see earlier photo). From many angles downtown, the 1 WTC has completely changed the character of the streetscape. Moving closer to the Seaport, I passed Titanic Memorial Park and then turned on Front Street and then on Beekman to the market.
I found several worthy foodstuffs at New Amsterdam Market's "Floralia Celebration," including many artful packages of the Hudson Valley Seed Library and a delicious bourbon-soaked Derby Pie from Pie Corps. The weekly markets will begin Sunday, June 5. (see official website). If you need help with directions, the embedded map should come in handy. Walk east and look for water.
Leaving the market, where I tried various samples of bread, cheese, and chutneys, I was a little too full to take in any of the restaurants on my return (I've noted them on the map), but I did stop in to Pasanella & Son Vintners, a good place to pick up a bottle of wine after shopping.
View From City Hall to the Seaport in a larger map
Before walking back to City Hall Park to catch the train home to the Village, now weighted down by market items (hence, the reason I decided on the train), I crossed over to the East River promenade to sit for a minute and look at the Brooklyn Bridge. Its beauty never disappoints.
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from May 1, 2011.