Paddy’s Market

Jewish market on the East Side, New York, New York, 1890-1901


In my reading, I’m always alert for any historical tidbits that I can work into my books. Just this week, I came across some information about Paddy’s Market, a seven-block stretch of outdoor stalls selling food along New York’s Ninth Avenue (35th to 42nd) where home winemakers could buy everything and anything they needed during the Prohibition years. Many, perhaps most, of the vendors and buyers were immigrants. (I couldn’t find any images of Paddy’s Market, but these show what it looked like.) It was a bustling place until the building of the Lincoln Tunnel brought about its demise in 1938. When I learned about this, I added one sentence in my newest manuscript (the one without a title), which is working its way through my critique group. 

Freddy shrugged. What could he say? These days, no one could know what they were drinking unless they made it themselves, which wasn’t a bad idea, now that I thought of it. If only I still lived in my own house with its kitchen and back yard, I could buy beer starter and brew my own beer like lots of folks were doing. Magazines advertised dried grape bricks for making wine at home—I could have tried that too. Or I could have walked down Ninth to Paddy’s Market, a seven-block Mecca for home winemakers, and bought all the supplies I needed. And Tommy had told me once that building a distilling operation needed no special know-how, just some equipment. Those who made their booze at home could at least rely on its safety, if not its quality.

Published in: on June 26, 2016 at 6:07 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Love it! Great touch, just the kind of detail that makes me happy when I read.

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