Explore the countryside in the heart of New York

Sheltered by its skyscrapers, Manhattan hides cheerful fruit and vegetable stalls. To discover during a next getaway.

New York also has a green soul. Central Park, the untouchable ocean nature (a rectangle of 320 ha never eaten away, planted with 24,000 trees, a permanent site for sports and entertainment activities), has demonstrated this since its inauguration in 1877. In recent years, the fashion for community gardens, like that of the roofs planted with salads and tomatoes, transforms the most ardent of New Yorkers’ sores into Sunday peasants. And then there are the markets where you rush to, leather sandals handcrafted by the Indians of Wyoming, Hermès square and old-fashioned woven wicker basket. Little pleasures of a Saturday morning to savor while you wait.

An early vegetable stall at Chelsea Market. RICHARD B. LEVINE/NEWSCOM/SIPA

Chelsea, la plus bobo

The market in Manhattan’s hippest neighborhood takes up the entire ground floor of a building built in 1898. In the past, cookies were made here. He must be inspired. Very cleverly, its designers left it as it was. Refreshed, repainted, but with its brick walls, huge pipes hanging from the ceiling, steel doors, hooks, rings… A real industrial decoration for a food shopping paradise which brings together 44 shops. A farandole of desires at each window: flowers, a wine cellar, a bakery, a seller of Italian specialties, his neighbor claims to be a champion of coffee and olive oil, the next one sells cheeses, just at next to the rows of a greengrocer, fruits on one side, vegetables on the other, and the kitchen equipment merchant. As delirious as smiling. For the gourmet stopover, aim for the pastry shop and its creamy cakes worthy of an American TV series, the multicolored candy shop, they are all there, or even the immense fishmonger with its crushed ice trays where the oysters sold to the shop rest. unit ($ 1.60 to $ 2.20), as well as prawns and other giant Alaskan crabs ($ 23 each). Local legislation requires, all these seafood have been washed in fresh water. Lovers of iodized flavors of the ocean do not necessarily find what they are looking for …

9th Avenue between 15th and 16th street. Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. www.chelseamarket.com

Gansevoort, the most intimate

This miniature lair is housed in an old brick building. Formerly, the great meat market was held here. The Manhattan halls, in short, those of the Meatpacking, the former slaughterhouse district that has become one of the hotspots for local trends with the Gansevoort hotel and its rooftop with a swimming pool and a bar, the first in the city , art galleries and designer boutiques, the recently opened Whitney Museum, and more. Not to mention that this is where the High Line begins, this delightful aerial promenade that runs between 14th and 23rd streets. In this pocket square, the covered market occupies a shed where old-fashioned wooden counters welcome the treasures of some twenty merchants. The inevitable Italian, with its cold cuts, pasta and cheeses, a stand of multicolored macaroons and teas from all over the world, another of farm-produced yoghurts, an ice cream parlor… Nothing surprising to come across models and fashion people here . A Volkswagen combi acts as a food truck. Specialty: Mexican-style tacos and vegetable juices. Organic, of course.

52 Gansevoort Street. Every day, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. www.gansmarket.com

Union Square, the most farmer

Andy Warhol’s Factory was next door in the Decker Building. But that was before, when dealers and rock stars vied for place. Now, this open-air market brings together a hundred farmers from the surrounding countryside or neighboring New Jersey. Many Amish and Hmong peasants are involved. The standard is “Direct from the farm and 100% organic”. So the vegetable is ugly, the homemade jam, the carrot remains earthy, the tomato is dirty, mushrooms, twisted, the flowers are from the garden, and the milk smells like cow. Lively, joyful and certain to be the Mecca of health and well-being. Strangely, this place that escapes New York madness also welcomes children in a pretty garden with games as well as all the lost of the city gathered on a parterre that one would believe reserved for them, at the foot of the statue of Lafayette. In the center of the square, it is George Washington who watches, from the top of his horse. An 1865 statue, the oldest in Manhattan. America is resuming its rights on the outskirts of Union. Chess players waiting for a partner, members of sects chanting with a smile, sellers of hippie crafts, musicians doing the rounds… The atmosphere is so good-natured that the police are content to patrol from a distance.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.grownyc.org

Grand Central Terminal, the most in a hurry

Manhattan Station (1913) is listed as a historical monument. It is deserved. Grandiose starry vault, giant marble pillars, staircases which so often made the delights of the cinema, the excessiveness of the hall of lost steps, impeccable cleanliness. Without forgetting restaurants, shops, shopping malls.

A generously sized gallery houses the Grand Central Market, the cool market, around thirty stalls lined up on either side of an alley. A few stands of flowers to pick before jumping on the train, but especially Italian specialties. Cold meats, breads, cheeses, wines, ice creams… Avanti!

Here we are in a world of hurrying, delicacies to choose from without delay, just to be on time on the quay. Unless you keep this pretty meeting as a prelude to a dinner party in the shelter of your hotel room.

Grand Central Terminal. Entrance to Lexington Avenue and 43rd Street. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.grandcentralmarket.com

Yaller.Around € 800 with Air France (tel: 36 54 and www.airfrance.fr).

Ask about. United States Tourist Office (tel: 0 899 70 24 70 and www.office-tourisme-usa.com).



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