Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fire at the Market

Funny that I was talking about food distribution yesterday. Dinner's got to get to the table somehow, and, in NYC, all roads lead through the Hunts Point Terminal Market.

A Two Alarm Fire at Hunts Point Market yesterday afternoon was a top local story, as reported by the gothamist.com. The fire was brought under control pretty quickly and thankfully, no one was hurt. Two well-known meat distributors, Master Purveyors and Desola Provisions, may have damages exceeding tens of millions of dollars, though, as reported by a NYT article this morning. The main market is open today and the affected businesses hope to be back up and running later this week, according to NY1 news.

Hunts Point Market is the main entry for all of NYC's food. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish all come in through this common point, which is a 60-acre complex in the Bronx. The city closed down the Fulton Fish Market, formerly located at South Street Seaport, several years ago in an effort to modernize and to eliminate mob influence in the market. The Hunts Point Produce Cooperative alone has revenues exceed $1.5 billion annually, more than any other produce market in the world. On their website, you can click through the Fruit, Herb, Vegetable, and Asian Specialty Reports to see what's available and to see cryptic notes on why green beans might be expensive this week.

Luckily this fire was a relatively minor incident. I have always been amazed that food is delivered so efficiently in the city. Never in my time here have I seen a serious food shortage, not in blizzards, not after 9/11, never. I can always get milk at the bodega. (Or one of the five within a block's walk.) Growing up in Florida, on the other hand, I often remember store shelves being totally decimated in the days before and after a hurricane. Something's got to be working.

Update on Fire: NYT, 02.13.08

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