Located in Greenpoint Brooklyn, McCarren Park was established in the early 20th century and officially given its namesake in 1909. The Park is nearly 36 acres and a universal gathering spot for both locals and visitors due to its wide variety of open space and playing facilities, including a track and bocce court. The McCarren Park pool renovation is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaYNC initiative, scheduled to be finished by the spring of 2012, with a completely renovated pool, a year-round recreation center, and a restored bathhouse. The park also offers sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, including of the Chrysler Building.
In addtion to all of the above, McCarren Park has been home to a Greenmarket since around 1997. Its location recently moved from its long-standing spot between Bedford and Lorimer Streets to Union Street near Driggs. The vendors were asked to relocate, as the city wanted to rehabilitate the grass where the market had been set up. At the time, the vendors expressed a level of apprehension that this would effect their customer base.
Thankfully, the McCarren Greenmarket support base is wide, varied, and dedicated. On any given Saturday, one is likely to see an eclectic mix of customers, from dogwalkers, to families, of various ages and ethnicities. The market is relatively small, especially in the winter months, but one visit will reassure you that your market needs will easily be met. Because the McCarren Greenmarket is less dense, you may find yourself having one-on-one conversations with the farmers or feel yourself lingering over the produce, instead of feeling pressured to pick your produce quickly due to the massive crowd behind you.
The vendors here can take care of all your market needs. There are two meat providers: Arcadian Pastures and DiPaolo Turkeys. There are also a number of vegetable and fruit farmers, including Red Jacket Orchards and Garden of Eve. The ever-popular Ronnybrook Farm Dairy also has a stand for returning your glass bottles or re-stocking your refrigerator. For a complete list, check out our What is Fresh page for the McCarren Park Greenmarket.
The McCarren Greenmarket frequently has creative market activities. A good resource for keeping up-to-date on these activities is Dave’s Kitchen. A sampling of recent events include a squash cook-off (I wish I had been around for that one!), a bike tour of Brooklyn Farmers’ Markets (with a pit stop at McCarren Park), an Apple Harvest Festival, and a Composting Demonstration. Speaking of composting, McCarren Park has a public composting drop off, meaning you can save yourself a trip to Union Square or Fort Greene, if McCarren is more convenient.
Many Brooklynites cite the McCarren Park Greenmarket as a weekly fixture in their weekend routine. So, if you’re in the Williamsburg or Greenpoint area on a Saturday, swing by and support the Greenmarket. Make a morning or afternoon of it and grab a bite at the sustainably friendly Urban Rustic or (several more blocks away) at Egg.