Farmer's Market to Move Under Helix Starting 11/24

November 10, 2018

Update: In response to the below letter, Susan Rosenthal, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, responded that the PTA will be moving the farmer's market back to former location, under the helix, from November 24 through March 9, 2019.



Dear Susan,


We have all seen the sleigh and reindeer in Good Shepherd Plaza where the Wengerd Farmer's market was located to make way for the helix construction.  This decor, along with any other planned additional items to the plaza, take up much needed space and impede the marketing public.  


It seems to me that these objects add one more reason to allow the market to move during the late fall and winter months, back to under the helix where it was located over the past several years.  We all appreciate that they can create a protected, enclosed space there, that they can heat to make it comfortable for their workers and the public to shop.  This cannot be done at the plaza.  We've been at the market when the rain was pouring down and the cover was not enough protection because of the openness of the space.  And, by the way, I've had several residents ask me why the market isn't being allowed to move to under the helix, at least, for the coming cold season.  The public will adjust to, and be happy for, the two different "seasonal" locations protecting them and their families, and, as well, Israel Wengerd and his staff. 


I also want to reiterate what Matt Katz wrote to you a couple of weeks ago, regarding the winter weather as a threat to shoppers and to those who set up and man the market, as a major problem in the open space at the Chapel Plaza.  You should be aware that I've also heard from many friends and some strangers along Main Street who think that keeping the market at the Plaza, at least during the winter through to early spring, creates not only a hardship in high winds and cold, wet weather, but also a danger to everyone.  These folks travel a long distance from New York and work very long hours to bring us their produce and other items.  We don't want to lose them.  


Your response to Matt seemed to indicate that RIOC understands the problem and is "working on it" (?).  Most importantly, it's incumbent upon RIOC to let the community know as soon as possible, with kiosk signage as well as through your bulletins, about the Farmers Market location change.  I'd add to this that RIOC needs to think ahead to when the bike ramp is being built at the helix, about the farmers market winter location then...there should be no surprises for Farmer's Market staff or our community. 


Thanks, in advance, for your consideration of my comments.



Sherie Helstein



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