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  • Ladies, if you ever need a self-esteem boost, four words, one place: Hunts Point Fish Market.*

    The sailors have come to port and they're thirsty. My mom and I were two of about five women at the Hunts Point Fish Market at 3 a.m. a couple days before Christmas Eve. We were prepping for our Italian seven-fish dinner.

    My friend Megan Grippa's family has four generations at the fish market, which moved up from Fulton Street in lower Manhattan to this industrial park in the South Bronx. Many multi-generational family businesses continue to operate, which makes it truly feel like Old New York. City restaurateurs, local fish market owners and anyone in search of large quantities of fish venture out in the wee hours of the morning.

    This is why New York is called "The City That Never Sleeps."

    Fishmongers scribble orders into carbon receipt books. Motorized vehicles lift pallets of fresh fish, zooming back and forth, and up and down. Stay on the pedestrian walkways. Rough and tumble guys abruptly let you know you're in the way.

    But when a woman walks through this fish frenzy, it's like she's the first person doing the wave in a packed football stadium.

    "Hello, Miss, good morning!"
    "Good morning, lady!"
    "Well, hello there!"
    "What brings you here, young lady?"

    Down the line she goes and the mutiny of business momentarily halts as eyeballs, smiles and greetings follow her.

    Great fish, great self-confidence building.

    So long, sailors!

    *The fish market’s official name is The New Fulton Fish Market Cooperative at Hunts Point, Inc.
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