Hell’s Kitchen Greenery

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Community Board 4 last night approved a new greenmarket for West 43rd Street between Ninth and 10th avenues. The market will consist of six 10-by-10-foot tents adjacent to Manhattan Plaza Park, and will be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting, from July 1 to Nov. 18.

There were several stipulations that the board called for, chief among them that the greenmarket sell no flowers or pies. Several board members were concerned that local small floral shops would suffer in the face of the greenmarket’s wide array of botanical delights; others wanted to protect the Little Pie Company, a homegrown pie company that in recent years has expanded to two other locations in the city.

The greenmarket’s management agreed to moratorium on pies and flowers without a peep, though, and the nearby Food Emporium’s claims that the greenmarket would eat into its profits–and thereby threaten its employees’ jobs and the city’s tax base–were debated and then ignored. (Interestingly enough, when Community Board 6 recently approved a greenmarket on the Upper East Side, one its the chief opponents was grocer Eli Zabar, who runs a nearby food store; his protestations were also to no avail.)

The greenmarket still needs to get the nod from the city’s Street Activities Permit Office, which should be a shoo-in.

-Matthew Grace Hell’s Kitchen Greenery