La Marqueta Returns

Editor’s note: In aThe market at 115th Street. (Photo by Desiree Johnson via Manhattan Times)

More than 50 years after “La Marqueta” flourished as a vibrant marketplace in East Harlem, the community members and public officials have worked since 2014 to revive the space. [And in a boost for La Marqueta, the Nov. 30 approval of the East Harlem rezoning plan by the City Council included an allocation of $25 million to renovate the historic market.]

This year, the market “returns” in time for the holiday season, reports Desiree Johnson for Manhattan Times.

“It’s really a spirit of the island,” said Miriam Barbosa (right, with partner Ralph) of pitorro. (Photo by Desiree Johnson via Manhattan Times)

To this end, it has been re-christened “La Marqueta Retoña,” or “The Market Returns” which hosts small business gatherings, cultural and musical events, culinary showcases, and forums. Individual stores are clustered in the main building at 115th Street, and outdoor events are held regularly.

This past Sat., Nov. 25th, in partnership with Small Business Saturday, the Acacia Network, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), La Marqueta Retoña officially kicked off the holiday season with a pop-up market with artists and vendors displaying unique wares for sale.

“We are trying different things to activate the space. This is the first time that we have a public market for the holidays,” explained Jessenia Cagle, Senior Associate for NYCEDC. “It was a way to bring attention to the market, to tell people, ‘Hey, we’re here!’”

Many of the items sold reflect the local communities, like the handcrafted bags and T-shirts sold by José Serrano and the pitorro sold by Miriam and Ralph Barbosa. Read more at Manhattan Times about the vendors, and why according to one patron, “it’s not about making money” at La Marqueta.

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