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Articles by Rachel Signer

Rachel Signer is a Brooklyn-based writer with an interest in social innovation in the environment and the economy.

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Rachel Signer

Here’s the best way to start a visit to New York City’s New Amsterdam Market: a small nibble of a hearty Finnish Ruis bread round, made with rye from Upstate New York and topped with a slice of locally made cheese. From there, you might sample some dishes by a chef promoting his latest cookbook; grab a loaf of “multi-ethnic” bread made by Hot Bread Kitchen, a social enterprise designed to empower its minority and low-income employees; snack on locally made grass-fed beef jerky; and wash it all down with Brooklyn-brewed kombucha.

Since 2005, every Sunday has seen the parking lot of the former Fulton Fish Market site at Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport transformed into a bustling agora selling artisanal foods made with locally sourced ingredients from sustainable farms — all this, beneath the roar of an interborough highway.

Those who come — a small but dedicated group, about 50,000 annually — not only love to shop locally and organically, but also appreciate the history of the site. As far back as the late 17th century, the South Street Seaport was a place... Read more