Essex Street Market's 75th Anniversary Block Party


esm cake

Someone had a birthday party on Saturday...

Essex Street Market celebrated its 75th Anniversary, serving the Lower East Side community this past weekend with all the delicious food and fanfare deserving of a legendary culinary destination. 

Throughout the month of May, Essex Street Market and its vendors, in conjunction with NYCEDC and the Lower East Side Business Improvement Dstrict (LESBID), celebrated the incredible vendors through a series of art exhibits and storytelling projects, a community brunch series, and other public events.

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Port Morris Distillery



Have you ever tried Pitorro?

Ralph Barbosa and Billy Valentin, New Yorkers of Puerto Rican heritage, opened up the Port Morris Distillery to bring the “moonshine of Puerto Rico” to New York City palates.

The duo produces spirits based on the heritage, traditions, and family recipes of Guayama, Puerto Rico, at their distillery in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx.

Pitorro has been produced since the 1600s with sugar cane as its primary ingredient. Although considered a rum, it is much stronger than most commercial varieties. With many family preferences throughout the island,...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Pierre's Spicy



Looking to turn up the heat with your food?

Pierre Henry was born in Haiti, where "bold and spicy" are all but essential elements of the region's cuisine.

He moved to the United States at age 12 and quickly adapted to American life through sports, even participating in the Junior Olympics as a member of the U.S. volleyball team.

But he never forgot about the flavors of the island he left behind, particularly that of the "Mamba," a spicy peanut butter from his childhood. He started experimenting with the best of ingredients—peanuts, chilli, butter, and sea salt—to...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Spoonable


attitude caramel

It's caramel with attitude. 

Otherwise known as Spoonable, Brooklyn's saucy caramel.

Spoonable Founder Michelle Lewis derives her 'saucy' inspiration from a multitude of cultural influences, stemming from her French-Moroccan heritage and life overseas. Her line of confectionary caramel sauces include zesty flavors like ‘Spicy Chili Caramel’ and ‘Brooklyn Butterscotch.’  

Based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Spoonable's story starts with a cheesecake. Leftover caramel sauce turned into a regular gift to...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Hungry Bars


hungry bars

Hungry? Have a granola bite.

Vlad Harkovski, a Bulgarian-born outdoor and fitness enthusiast, turned his hobby of making healthy energy mixes into a business when he opened Hungry Bars in Astoria, Queens. Hungry Bars specializes in small batch granola bars using only organic, natural ingredients. 

Though the name may indicate otherwise, Hungry Bar's primary product is bite-size and not an actual bar. When they first began developing the product, production and packaging made it challenging to sell...

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May Economic Snapshot: Housing and Residential Construction


construction snapshot

By Ivan Khilko, Senior Project Manager, Economic Research and Analysis

In May 2014, Mayor De Blasio announced his Housing New York plan.

Its main goal: to build 200,000 units of affordable housing across New York City by 2024.

The plan was in response to a significant crunch in housing availability for the majority of New Yorkers whose incomes are not high enough to be able to afford the quickly rising rents.

Unlike median rents, which were not brought down by the recession, average wages fell significantly from a high of $95,000 in 2007 to a low...

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Rising to the Challenge: Red Hook Initiative


When a neighborhood goes dark, keeping communities connected is key.

Like many other neighborhoods, the low-lying community of Red Hook was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. While internet and communication systems were down throughout much of the city, Red Hook remained connected through its community designed, community built wireless mesh network.

Red Hook WIFI, a product of the Red Hook Initiative (RHI), began as a small pilot project in early 2012 to provide a resilient platform to access essential services and...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: City Saucery



At City Saucery, tomato sauce is made the old-fashioned way. 

Locally-grown ingredients like 100% New Jersey vine-ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and aromatic herbs bring out flavors reminiscent of home-cooked meals from Mama's kitchen. Or in this case, Nonna's kitchen. 

City Saucery is a modern family business based in Staten Island. Inspired by his Nonna' Carolina and her Calabrian roots, Michael Marino and his partner Jorge Moret started the business to share their love...

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Free Public WiFi Coverage Is Coming To The Flatiron District



The tech sector has the potential to be one of society’s great levelers.

Digital technology gives anyone access to and a voice in any part of the world--- regardless of who they are or where they’re from.

Of course, a reliable internet connection is fundamental to entering that world. Yet in many parts of our city, access to the internet isn’t as easy as it should be.

That’s why NYCEDC has partnered with local organizations to launch The Wireless Corridor Challenge, an effort to provide free WiFi coverage in...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Auria Abraham


auria peppers

She's known as the Sambal Lady.

You may have seen her stirring a hot batch of chili on the Food Network show, "Chopped."

Or you may have heard about her 2011 underground supper club series in Midwood, Brooklyn, with its array of exquisite dishes. You may have even tried her signature product, the all-natural ...

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