Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fishy Situation

In today’s NY Times, Andrew Jacobs reports on the Fulton Fish Market’s first day in its new, technologically-advanced site in the Bronx. Jacobs talks to a wholesaler who sums up the collective feeling about the new facility:

It feels good to work like human beings," Phil Almelaris, 44, a fish dealer said, standing amid stalls that had the scrubbed feel of a suburban mall. "Over there, we were a little like animals.
Though some understandably felt nostalgic for their old home, many of the market’s 600 employees were awed by the 400,000 sq. ft. of new space, complete with climate control, electric-powered fork-lifts, more efficient loading/unloading devices and a system of hoses and drains for the deicing and de-gutting fish.

Even Mayor Bloomberg was impressed with the city-financed, $85 million wholesale space:
If you like crowded streets and unsanitary and dangerous conditions, you'll miss the old facility," he said. "Things change, the world changes, and we've got to keep up.
Again, we are pleased to see the city assisting wholesale merchants move out of shabby facilities and into brand new, state-of-the-art warehouse space. But we are still puzzled why the Bronx Terminal Market merchants, who, too, toil in unsatisfactory, dangerous conditions (on city-owned land) are not being afforded the same consideration as their fish-vending counterparts. In other words, how does the mayor justify that the Fulton Fish Market gets a brand new facility paid for by the city while all the BTM merchants get are eviction notices and moving money?