2003_12_fultonfish-thumb.jpgOld New York institutions are, of course, always moving, changing and getting run over; it's the nature of the city to be constantly abandoning its past. Nonetheless, the fact that the odor-iffic old-school Fulton Fish Market will be leaving Lower Manhattan in June seems a major shift.

Gothamist won't rhapsodize poetic about the early-dawn shipments of stripers and the colorfully-gritty fishmongers with their personalized hooks and deft filleting; the Timespiece this morning did that well enough. But one major, and unfortunate, effect of the market's relocation to the Hunt's Point Market in the Bronx will simply be to remove from Manhattan yet another raw, tactile connection to the sources of the things that surround us. As the Meatpacking district has gentrified over the past decade, meatpackers themselves have, in large part, packed up their cow carcasses and headed for Jersey. The loss of these types of markets, as well as the fact that borough has spent decades turning spacious industrial buildings into high-end lofts, means that there are fewer and fewer places to go that evoke the feel of the city's working past.

Even as the fish market is relocated and the South Street Seaport area begins to smell better, something will definitely be lost. Specifically, it's a shame that characters like "Johnny Dirtyface," (mentioned in the Times piece for famously treating a knife wound with half a bottle of whiskey before drinking the rest of the bottle and returning to work) won't be lurking around lower Manhattan anymore.

Photo of Fulton Fish Market from Lizo Yusheng