Check off your holiday shopping list with a culturally diverse lineup of vendors — plus hop a trolley under the train tracks! — at the Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta, created through a partnership between NYC Public Retail Markets (run by NYC EDC), Uptown Grand Central, TBo (The Best Of) Harlem & Union Settlement.
In addition, save the dates for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 1st at 7pm in front of Ponce Bank on the corner of 106th Street and Third Avenue; The Ice Skating Rink in White Park opens at 7pm on December 1st; and Harlem Night Market beginning on December 2nd.
This year’s market returns for the first three Saturdays in December (2nd, 9th and 16th) with a curated selection of vendors on multiple blocks of the La Marqueta Public Market, located under the Park Avenue Viaduct from 116th to 111th streets. This year’s event will include more than 50 Uptown-based entrepreneurs per evening, offering foods and gifts that represent the best of Harlem, the Bronx & El Barrio.
Shopping spaces include:
• La Placita, the event plaza located under the tracks from 116th to 115th streets. Explore multiple sections for Makers, Savory Foods and Sweet Treats, plus a Dance Floor featuring neighborhood-favorite deejays Stormin’ Norman, Ted Smooth and Uptown Vinyl Supreme on the 1’s and 2’s. Make sure to snap a selfie at the Harlem Night Market 360-degree photo booth. Plus shop and swap vinyl with Uptown Vinyl Supreme.
• The historic La Marqueta retail market, the indoor space with an entrance at 115th Street. Shop the stalls of year-round La Marqueta vendors including Cocotazo, Lizzy’s Treats, Amuse Bouche and Taller Carmen Ayala. Plus free gift wrapping with any Harlem Night Market purchase.
• The Grandscale Art Market, on the Open Street at 115th Street. Meet some of the 100-plus artists from this year’s Grandscale Mural Project, plus purchase canvases and merch that reflect the murals’ unique styles. At 115th Street, you can also board the trolley to Urban Garden Center.
• The Winter Wonderland at the new Urban Garden Center, located under the viaduct at 111th Street. Now in its fourth generation, Urban Garden Center has been relocated by the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement project this past fall. Its new space will be packed with the scent of pine, trees and wreaths, plus a holiday craft market featuring even more local vendors. The Winter Wonderland will open one hour earlier than the other sections of the market, with Santa visits and pics for kids from 3-5 p.m. and a craft workshop each Saturday at 3 p.m. hosted by El Museo del Barrio, Harlem Needle Arts and Urban Garden Center. There’ll also be free hot cocoa! At 111th Street, you can board the trolley back to 115th Street.
Families are encouraged to start their fun early at the Winter Wonderland at Urban Garden Center, then hop the trolley that will run on loop from the southern end of the market at Urban Garden Center (111th Street) to the northern end of the market at La Placita (115th Street). As the evening continues, the market will ramp up the party on the dance floor at La Placita, which will also feature a vinyl swap and sale hosted by Uptown Vinyl Supreme.
“Since its start as one of New York City’s public markets in the 1930s, La Marqueta has achieved a storied status as the heart of entrepreneurship for East Harlem and all of Uptown,” said Carey King, director of Uptown Grand Central. “For nearly a century now, these blocks under the rumbling Park Avenue train tracks have launched thousands of entrepreneurs with great products and great ideas. It’s our honor to be a part of showcasing that vibrancy for the holidays.”
“This year’s construction on the Park Avenue Viaduct has shifted our setup, but none of the fun,” said Harlem Night Market and TBo Harlem Founder Tony Rahsaan. “We’ve got a great lineup of vendors who represent the best of Harlem, the Bronx and Uptown. So plan to bundle up, bring your wallets, do some shopping and explore our neighborhood.”
About the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement: The Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement is a project by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to repair and replace portions of the Park Avenue Viaduct, the elevated steel structure that carries four Metro-North Railroad tracks along Park Avenue between East 110th Street and the Harlem River Lift Bridge. First built in the 1890s, the viaduct carries approximately 750 trains and hundreds of thousands of customers on a typical weekday, and is now 130 years old. The construction project will keep the public safe, make the viaduct more resilient, and reduce noise and vibration levels by using stronger materials. Phase One construction began in October 2023 and is scheduled to continue through 2026, and includes the complete replacement of the viaduct from East 115th to 123rd streets. The project has required the relocation of Urban Garden Center from 116th to 111th streets, and will eventually require the demolition and reconstruction of La Placita.
About La Marqueta: La Marqueta’s story goes back to 1936, when the City opened the Park Avenue Retail Market to bring East Harlem’s pushcart vendors under one roof. As the neighborhood transformed from Italian Harlem into Spanish Harlem after World War II, the Park Avenue Retail Market became “La Marqueta,” specializing in Latin American and Caribbean goods for the residents of East Harlem, Central Harlem, and the South Bronx. La Marqueta is managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) as one of six Public Retail Markets across the city. The mission of NYC EDC Public Retail Markets is to create shared prosperity across the five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs, by creating world-class destinations for visitors and preserving the authentic cultural heritage at each market.
About Uptown Grand Central:
Uptown Grand Central is an East Harlem nonprofit on a mission to create a thriving, vibrant neighborhood. Founded by small business owners on East 125th Street, the organization works to create great public spaces, promote entrepreneurship, and showcase local arts and culture. Its programming includes the East 125th Street Clean Team, the Grandscale Mural Project, Winter Lights, Open Streets (at 115th Street and at East Harlem’s Restaurant Row), Party On Park, Small Business Bike Rides and activating the 125th Street Plaza adjacent to the Harlem-125th Street Metro-North Station.
About TBo Harlem:
TBo Harlem is a Harlem-based media company that specializes in supporting, marketing and amplifying small businesses, community issues, and the culture of East and West Harlem. As part of its work in building a local community of entrepreneurs, TBo is curating the vendors featured throughout the market.
About Our Vendors:
More than 80 percent of the vendors are based Uptown, and work with the small business programs at Uptown Grand Central, Union Settlement, e.terra kitchen, the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Center and Ponce Bank.
Makers include For the Culture, Harlem Hoopz, East Harlem Preservation, Alex Creates, CapsNCurls, Body Vanity, k.d. dolls, Sleepy Coqui, Ojala Threads, Hannahbandanah, FraMiAti, Aya Hand Fans, Sigi’Nommo, Black N Ugly, Everything SOULful, Afrikanspot, Angel Rays Designs, Ariance Jewelry, Aroma d’Angel, Crudo Creates, Carmen Community Artist, Chatterless, Chiwara Naturals, Closiist, Dega Co., Della J Designz, Exclusive Eyes, HardWear Style, HERBAS Plant-Based Body Care, HOPE Center Harlem, King Beard Care, Looking Lens, Mermaid Thread, Sincerely Bade, Scented by Shayian, Top 3! Games, Young Buck Sports, The Christmus Corner & Crocheting In The City.
Savory chefs include Black Rican Vegan, Cafe Ollin, Creole Soul Food, Maryam’s Yum Yum, Mama T, Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights, Green Papaya Vegan, Alta Garden, Barrel House, Murray’s Seafood, Trendyyy Kitchen, Amuse Bouche Bistro & Cocotazo.
Sweet treats include The Coquito Lady, Harlem Baking Co., Sweetends, Chatman J. Cakes, Campbell & Carr, Greensicle Cider Club, Brazen Flavas, eterra kitchen, Oh Sweet Mason, Grace Kelli Cupcakes, Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Oso Cacao & Lizzy’s Treats.
Grandscale Mural Project participating artists include DaQuane Cherry (Flaco Waters), Painted by Qua (Social Icon), Ysabel Abreu (Ysabel Studio), Lady K Fever, Axxhouse, Studio Yatu, Edgar Scott, Mr. Hood Good, Erica Purnell, ONe Rad Latina & Art In The Park.
The Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta is brought to you by Uptown Grand Central, TBo Harlem and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, with support from Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, Ponce Bank, Union Settlement, Urban Garden Center, Harlem Needle Arts, Los Pleneros de la 21 and El Museo del Barrio
The Fifth Annual Harlem Night Market will take place on Saturdays, December 2,, 9 and 16, 2023 from 4:00 to 8:00pm each night. Children’s activities and Santa will run from 3-5pm at Urban Garden Center.
La Placita (Park Avenue b/t 116th & 115th streets)
La Marqueta & the Grandscale Art Market (1590 Park Avenue at 115th Street)
Urban Garden Center (1560 Park Avenue at 111th Street)
We’re keeping an eye on the Second Avenue Subway.
Take a look at East 125th Street, a work in progress?
Update on the new National Black Theatre/Ray Harlem.