Welcomes You!
Hey guys,
For my Gotham urbanites with a fondness for markets, I have some sad news to share.  The New Amsterdam Market has officially closed its doors--at the absolute least--on South Street.  In short, without a market, we won't be in the area selling our wares in the neighborhood.  Obviously, you can still buy our products on www.brooklynbutcherblocks.com and we'll ship it to you.  No problem.  You can also still pickup at our (wood)shop in Sunset Park (DNR Trains to 36th street).  The address is 67 34th st 11232.  Floor and unit number as well as hours are on the about page of our facebook page.  As an ode to the market, we're offering free shipping for the remainder of the Summer with the discount code "freeshipping."  
I'd like to share my personal and professional history with the New Amsterdam Market and Robert LaValva.  New Amsterdam Market was the environment that allowed me to propel Brooklyn Butcher Blocks in December of 2010.  I joined late in the game, but still loved the community and commerce for the 3 weeks I was there.  Robert LaValva was so committed to offering a spot to Brooklyn Butcher Blocks that I still can't believe his generosity today as he surely couldn't have made a profit* on my booth for my first few weekends there.  What's more is that I got to meet the illustrious Florence Fabricant in person.  For the few that don't know, Florence Fabricant is just... I don't even know how to describe how pivital and important her role is in the world of food.  When I first started and told my artist friends, "She's like the Roberta Smith... of food," and I think I would know say the inverse of Roberta Smith.  In short, the opportunity to meet Florence Fabricant in person?  Just unreal.  Impossible!  But it happened.  She listened with open ears as I explained my craft and how Joel Bukiewicz and his company Cut Brooklyn guided me and how he was also growing.  A month later, and she wrote this piece about Joel and me in the New York Times.  This would not have happened without the New Amsterdam Market.  And I cannot explain to you how much this article launched Brooklyn Butcher Blocks into the next level.  What it did for someone with as much knowledge and experience as Florence Fabricant to back my craftsmanship (fun fact, she has also done some woodworking herself, if memory serves).  Robert LaValva and his hard work facilitated a place for me to grow and allowed me to follow my creative urges as a way to make a living (a dream of mine since I was 6).  And this was just my first month there.  Like first month ever.  Quick side note: for those of us who don't have trust funds, copious amounts of money or other monetary resources, it is people like Robert and their generosity who don't just help but *allow* businesses like mine to start with an advantageous position.

In 2011, The New Amsterdam Market was as important to my business as ever, and Robert was still as generous as ever.  In 2011, I feel fairly certain that our feature in Bon Appetit would not have happened, and it is precisely because of the values of the New Amsterdam Market that we stood out.  Our board was the *only* handmade board out of the bunch.  There was an individuals name actually associated with the product, and people responded to that.  The market also introduced me to a wide array of people of various crafts, and I learned a lot.  These relationships weren't just professional, but also personal.  Robert's enterprise built a true community, and while that's our natural inclination as humans to do so, Robert had the vision to bring like-minded people together.  Commerce becomes community and community commerce.  I noticed early on Robert's keen eye for aesthetics and form in constructing his market and I can say that the market did reach this goal for creating a community at the Seaport, an area becoming increasingly the land of tourists.*  

In 2012, I had broken my foot while woodworking and my mobility was extremely limited.  Robert LaValva had a project involving the creation of 60 new market tables and he pretty much came to my doorstep to discuss his plans.  We discussed this multiple times throughout 2012 and 2013.  Unfortunately, this never took off due to the same issues the market just finished facing.  Regardless, Robert kept me in mind and was providing me with more opportunities.
So, here is to the New Amsterdam Market in the Seaport and here's one more to Robert LaValva.
Now that my story is over, I have to say that it is unexpected this year I will be attending more markets outside of New York than in.  With that said, Chicago look for us at the Renegade Craft Fair and either the Ultimate Women's Expo OR the Randolph Street Market... Plans are still in flux.  Also, Los Angeles you can expect to see us at Artisanal LA again this October and we're hoping to rope in another event while we stay the week in LA.  If any Southern Californian locals have suggestions, please let me know.

-Nils Wessell

*Okay, okay, technically the New Amsterdam Market was a nonprofit but you know what I mean wiseguy!
*And no hate on the tourists!  We love ya and you're a part of our New York world too!  It's just that, naturally, as a place caters to tourists it generally seems to cater less to the people living there and the New Amsterdam Market was a place for both camps, IMO.