It’s the time of year again, when the venerable Essex Street Market marks its anniversary with an all-out block party, taking over the stretch between Delancey and Rivington with pushcarts, astroturf, outdoor DJs, and delicious food galore. It’s been 76 years and as the longest-surviving market from the La Guardia era, it deserves to celebrate. (To get the full deets on its history, check out our deep dive into its roots. You can also get a free market tour at the party, from Turnstile Tours).
Oysters are no longer as abundant as they used to be in New York, but you can still find plenty of the bivalve delicacies at bars and restaurants on the Lower East Side. That was readily apparent Sunday as a host of local chefs and cooks showed off their shucking skills so that 24 brave souls could prove how quickly they could slurp down a couple dozen. We were there for all the shucking and jiving. Check out the techniques on display in our video– as well as some advice from current reigning champion, Terrence Ruggiero, who managed to eat almost one oyster per second. He finished his plate in 29 seconds.
Unlike most coffee shops opening on the LES these days, Treats, a new pastry counter that doubles as a fashion boutique, isn’t touting single-origin beans or a trendy roaster. Asked what he’s serving, owner Eric Levine answers, “It’s just regular coffee — like, cheap.”