It's difficult to tell at this point just how the new graveling of the area that the greenmarket occupies, May through November for one day of the week, will look when the greenmarket is not present. The damp weather these past days has also contributed to make such a determination problematic.
One thing is certain, though. With the greenmarket getting approval in its current location by both our councilman Dan Garodnick and the TA (a tight partnership, for sure), the solidifying of the placement of the greenmarket at the southern end of the Oval grounds has reached finality. The result is a new paving of gravel to cover the ugly patch of mud/dirt ground that was there, with this gravel now extending around the inner path of the grounds, to create a unified whole.
Another result, historically very important for Stuyvesant Town, is that we have officially lost a chunk of grass area that existed for decades in the Oval, an area that was taken over by the greenmarket for just 28 days of the year, leaving behind for the remaining 337 days a grass-less track of land to be used primarily by dog walkers as an impromptu deposit station for their animals.
In ye olde days, the Oval lawn had always been considered sacred, a piece of land to be cared for and nourished and enjoyed for its atypical "nature" beauty in Manhattan. The first bit of permanent eradication of the ideal came when Tishman Speyer decided to widen the outlet of the path at its northwestern end, taking away a small piece of grass/planting grounds to make way for what was then trucks backing up to unload and load equipment for special events being held in the central Oval grounds. Next, post-Tishman Speyer, came the little guard booth doll-house, which mandated the removal of plantings and trees. And now, the southern area of the Oval lawn, already decimated by Tishman Speyer with the introduction of the greenmarket, gets a more permanent marker and cut off. I can't see what other area of the grounds will "go" in the future, but the opportunity exists, courtesy making anything zoned legally here because of "accessory use by residents and their guests."
My impression (and it can only be an impression at the moment) is that this southern area will be difficult to keep looking reasonably good, as the gravel used has a tendency to show every footprint and mark that goes over it. Already, today, the gravel on the path looks a bit of a mess. Time will tell, though. Perhaps the gravel needs time to dry and adjust to weather conditions. [Update: This seems to be the case. The gravel along the paths is now clearly whitening.]
Meanwhile, on my trek about the complex, I could not help but notice the damage done to the fencing posts around the west side of the path...
UPDATE: As I originally thought, there seems to be zero apparent influx of outsiders to the ST greenmarket. I did two walk-arounds and didn't notice anyone carrying bought produce at the greenmarket out of the complex, except for a grouping of three older people who just headed along 14th St and not to the Lower East Side. (I did notice, however, a young couple walking an un-ST type dog and leaving for the LES.) Plus, there are no banners on the periphery of the complex announcing the greenmarket, unlike other years. That's not to say they won't appear in the future. At this point, it appears the greenmarket is being used exclusively, or pretty much exclusively, by residents and their guests.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader sends in photos of the signs that were out today at the greenmarket.