There is no denying it, New York City is one of the most exciting cities on the planet, and a trip to the Big Apple should be on everyone's bucket list. The city has a seemingly endless list of things to do ranging from a walk through Central Park to witnessing the unique artwork of the Guggenheim Museum. Travelers will love opportunities to catch Broadway shows, dine at world-class restaurants, and view a number of iconic attractions, as well as some of the best community events in the region.
The Grand Holiday Bazaar is one of the leading holiday shopping experiences on the East Coast of the United States. It’s the city's largest curated weekly market, and for the holiday season they go all out with over 100 vendors spread out over 43,000 square feet selling a variety of items from artisanal food to handmade furniture. Patrons will have little trouble finding the perfect gift for the most difficult people to shop for on their list. In addition to purchasing unique handmade items, shoppers will also get to sample food from over 30 different vendors. In addition to the vendors selling their goods, The Bazaar also supports local schools by donating money, and local artists by supplying an affordable retail space to sell their goods. We got the chance to interview Grand Bazaar NYC's Executive Director, Marc Seago, to talk about this unique holiday shopping experience.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
MS: Grand Bazaar NYC's official opening was on September 11, 2016. Over the summer we had a series of preview and special events leading up to our official debut in September.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw and what is their demographic makeup? Children? Families? Couples?
MS: At the current rate we expect about 400,000-450,000 visitors.
Average age: 31 years
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MS: First, we are the only market that gives back 100% of its profits. The funds go to four local public schools, benefiting over 4,000 children.
Second, we are NYC's largest curated weekly market that operates all year-round. We have an indoor and outdoor market with over 100 vendors spread over 43,000 square feet. It’s a real bazaar in that we have the best of everything including art, antiques, crafts, vintage, handmade jewelry, furniture, and tasty artisanal foods.
Third, we support local artists, designers, and artisans by offering them affordable retail space in Manhattan. Also, we support small entrepreneurial businesses and seasonal vendors, which means there is always something new to discover. We have partnerships with Etsy New York and Brooklyn Foodworks.
Fourth, we have the oldest vendor in the country, and probably the world! Mathilde Freund is 100 years “young, ” and you can find her almost every Sunday at Grand Bazaar NYC.
Fifth, we are located in Manhattan and are easy to get to using public transportation.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
MS: Gates open at 10:00 am and the market remains open until 5:30 pm each and every Sunday. Depending if it's a special event day or not we may or may not have special activities happening (e.g., free ice cream, or lemonade).
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
MS: Because of our location in the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side, we constantly have notables coming through to shop and on occasion have HGTV's hit show "Flea Market Flip" utilize Grand Bazaar NYC as their backdrop.
RAL: What will patrons find for dining options?
MS: We have a food section with up to 30 different food vendors to choose from each and every Sunday.
RAL: What is the overall environment like?
MS: The market takes place in the schoolyard and in the cafeteria of one of the public school we donate our profits too. The market is designed to make the visitors feel like they are discovering something new every time they turn a corner or across the aisle. The staff is trained to be friendly and welcoming.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
MS: Grand Bazaar NYC donates 100% of its net profits to four local public schools, benefiting over 4,000 children by providing them with art enrichment programs, books, supplies, teaching assistants, sports, and chess programs.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MS: Visitors love getting an authentic feel of New York City and shopping for something that's one-of-a-kind and made locally. This is what visitors will find, a melting pot of the City. They can eat artisanal foods and shop from local artisans or snatch up cool vintage items to rare antiques. Being social with our vendors and hearing fascinating stories told from Mathilde, our 100-year-old vendor, in one of seven languages is also very memorable. Year round we feature a series of great events that include an annual Ice Cream Blizzard, International Food Bazaar, NYC Vintage Classics, NYC Hot & Yummy Bazaar, NYC Artisan Jewelry Bazaar, and much more planned for 2017.
For more information about the Grand Holiday Bazaar, please visit their website.