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Sunday Market returns — but in a new location

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As numerous businesses across the city begin to contemplate reopening, several have struggled with the complex task of balancing new health restrictions and the need to stay afloat financially.

Matt Abrams Gerber and Shira Silverman have some good news on that front: The Sunday Market is back. And it's open air.

“The market’s been open here since 2011,” said Silverman, manager of The Sunday Market. “The whole idea is to bring fresh food from actual farmers to the community. Some come late in the season, usually a little earlier than now, because he grows vegetables primarily, and they’re all from upstate.”

The sense of bringing the community together through fresh food, grown not that far away and then brought directly to the area, is something The Riverdale Y considers just as important as the regulations necessary to reopen at this time.

“It’s an essential business just like a grocery store,” said Abrams Gerber, The Y's chief operating officer. “However there are more obstacles to figure out with a grocery store. Here there’s more space. It’s outside.”

It’s not as though the Sunday Market is free of its own issues, however. Farmers have to register in advance to determine the amount of space each stand will require, which will then be compared to whether social distancing can be correctly practiced.

“We have to be able to navigate both what we need to bring with what’s going on around us,” Abrams Gerber said. “Our connection with the community is important, and maintaining their health and the health of our Sunday Market volunteers is equally important.”

That connection has luckily yielded its own fruit, however. While the market hoped to reopen near the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy on West 237th Street, it was instead directed to the parking lot of the Riverdale Temple on 4545 Independence Ave.

“We couldn’t do the social distancing by the school, by Central Riverdale,” Silverman said. “But if all goes according to plan, then the Temple seems like the best spot.”

The market is open every Sunday through Nov. 22, running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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