Fulton Fish Market

UPDATE: the market has officially and finally moved to the Bronx...


Just south of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Fulton Fish Market. There has been a fish market operating here since the 1820's. After almost 200 years, the FFM is moving to Hunt's Point, in the Bronx. Nobody knows for sure when the move will happen, but possibly April, 2005.

They start setting up at 1 AM, and by six, it's all over. I went down at four AM once, to see it in full swing.

Manhattan used to be dotted with wholesale markets like this one, but this is the last one in its original location. Washington Market, formerly on the World Trade Center site, was twice this size. Chefs from all over the city come here in the pre-dawn hours.
Skyscrapers loom nearby, the Financial District is a few blocks south of here.
Forklifts, called Hi Lows, zip along the corridors between the stacked boxes of fish. They beep impatiently if you get in their way. Everyone hustles. The men with dollies almost move at a trot.
Here's where you can buy the tools of the trade: waterproof boots, ice scoops, knives, gloves and grappling hooks.
This is Angelo, he's been here his entire working life- almost 20 years. Is he sentimental about leaving this place after so many years? "Nah. Adds 15 minutes to my commute. Whatever."

There are some great stories from FFM employees at this site: http://www.gothamgazette.com/community/1/views/285

My favorite quote is from a guy describing working in this breezeless, smelly place: "Standing here is like being in someone's mouth."


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