The Big Social Holiday Market (from the folks at the Hester Street Fair) | Open House Gallery, 201 Mulberry St. | 646.747.8770 | | |
[mappress mapid="150"]

I OWE A LOT OF PEOPLE a long overdue apology. But as previously mentioned, my former vocational life did not leave me with much time to pursue, much less enjoy, any of my other creative endeavors. I did make a brief attempt last December, when I was kindly invited to the Big Social Holiday Market (brought to the grateful city by the the fine folks responsible for last spring/summer's very successful Hester Street Fair, and spearheaded by their fearless leader, Suchin Pak), and I eagerly responded that I would love to attend and cover the event.

I had even had the temerity to believe that I could pull of a new elevation of PHUDE media with the addition of a video crew and on-air personality, which I did succeed to do in production.

Post-production, it turns out, involves far more time, energy, and effort than my last job allowed me, so I've been sitting on all of these photos and video for months, working on this very involved post in bits and pieces since the Christmas holiday-themed event.

The event itself was great, an art gallery hosting vendors of all sorts—many of them food vendors, of course—and Charlii, my dapper host, Andrew, my videographer, and myself had a great time meeting and talking to the people working at or ordering from vendors such as Luke's Lobster, SlimKim, Pies 'n' Thighs, Macaron Parlour, Robicelli's Cupcakes, and The Regal Vegan.

But before we got to them, we had to walk in through its elaborately painted front windows and doors, and walk through the large space, passing by some fancy, cool, and creative items and crafts sold by the very people who design or collect them.

Down a flight of stairs and to the right we spotted a wall littered with florescent posters, the largest of giving directions to a whole separate room where the food and beverages were being served.

Some of the non-food vendors were still selling food-related items, like these adorable aprons I found being sold by Laura Fisk of Brooklyn's Fisk & Fern.

Fisk & Fern |

The first booth we stopped at was for Pies 'n' Thighs.

Pies 'n' Thighs | 166 South 4th St. (at Driggs St.) |

They were serving something that—at least on the night that we were there—quickly became known as the "Crack Sandwich". It was the Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich, made from scratch on premise, with buttery and flaky biscuits, fresh boneless fried chicken, hot sauce, and butter.

Simple and heavenly, this was the most ordered and recommended item of the evening, and rightfully so.

Far more on the exotica end of the culinary spectrum were the SkimKim kimchi pot pie pastries I had been dying to try her since I first read about them in who-remembers-what-or-where.

SkimKim || |

A almost too-hot-to-handle, tasty, spicy, crunchy treat, baked on premise as well, from the proprietor's homemade recipe.

To cool and sweeten my mouth, I next visited the Macaron Parlour booth, fully aware of their divine mini handfuls, having enjoyed them last summer at the Hester Street Fair. It was good to see them again.

Macaron Parlour | | |

The surprise of this particular revisit was the addition of a special Thai chili macaroon, which was sweet, spicy, nutty, and were a likewise popular item at the venue.

By the time my team got the the Robicelli's Cupcakes booth, many of their top flavors were already sold out, many customers buying one to eat while they were they and at least another to take home.

Robicelli's Cupcakes | | |

Understandable enough. The one I had was yummy and rich and moist enough for me to not miss having a tall glass of cold milk handy.

My camera, whose battery was starting to die by the time we first arrived at the event, proved problematic while attempting to take pictures of long-time festival, NYC, and personal fave Luke's Lobster, and while trying to introduce the world to flavorful sorceries of the Regal Vegan ( and her vegetarian "faux" gras.

We did get to interview all of the vendors, though, as well as the tirelessly creative spirit behind the Big Social Holiday Market and the Hester Street Fair, Suchin Pak, whose is doing something wonderful by supplying merchants different venues through which to share their wares to the ever-increasingly curious, nomadic, and populous New Yorker. I am still grateful for her letting us come down, cover the event, and enjoy some of the best food we had had all year, and for giving us a bit of her time as well, between running the whole shebang, meeting and greeting her many friends and admirers, and still allowing herself to let loose and have fun.

The same fun everyone else seem to be having, as well as myself, for the first time in many months. And although it's been a while since that holiday season celebration, I am glad that I can still celebrate its spirit in the present, and look very much forward to celebrate the reopening of the Hester Street Fair in just a matter of weeks on Saturday, May 7—three days after my birthday, so even more to celebrate...!

[youtube width="600" height="460"][/youtube]

Bun Apple Tea!


The Big Social Holiday Market (from the folks at the Hester Street Fair) | Open House Gallery, 201 Mulberry St. | 646.747.8770 | | |