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PS 6 Greenmarket Location Withdrawn

Disappointing news broke in New York Magazine this morning about the greenmarket at PS 6 that was approved by Community Board 8 last month. It seems that the Council on the Environment formally withdrew the large PS 6 location for a new greenmarket. While the details are sketchy right now, from what I have been able to gather, Eli Zabar and the residents of the adjacent buildings to PS 6 hired lawyers and threatened to picket the greenmarket location if they started one there. As ridiculous as that seems, this is what NY Magazine reported:

The revolt started a few weeks ago, when members of Community Board 8 voted yes. Locals, along with fancy-grocery guy Eli Zabar, staged on-street protests against potential noise (from trucks) and sanitation (from scraps of leftover food).

The meeting must have been pretty ugly from the sound of it:

“Strumolo was quite worried about being lynched,” says anti-market activist Michele Harkins. Zabar calls Strumolo a “religious fanatic” for engaging in a myopic mission to turn the city organic while disregarding organic-friendly store owners–i.e., Zabar. “A religious fanatic?” Strumolo asks. “Well, I do have a master’s degree in philosophy, and I go to church.”

Thankfully, there are some voices of reason willing to state the obvious:

C.B. 8 chair David Liston says that he is disappointed. The “real benefits far outweighed the imagined risks.”

On a positive note, we have reached out to the local Councilmembers Lappin and Garodnick’s offices. They are committed to finding new locations and potentially expanding the one at St. Stephen’s if necessary. I also know that the Carnegie Hill Neighbors Association also supports a greenmarket in their neighborhood (just 10 blocks north of the PS 6 location). And over the next couple of months we at the Upper Green Side will help build support for alternate locations and the proposed expansion of the St. Stephen’s location.

As usual, I will keep you up-to-date on all the latest as I hear it.


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