There were souvenir hustlers everywhere I looked. Each year, there's a silly new street-trinket hit sold all over town. Cheap little tripods have long been popular, but now the street hustlers have shifted their focus to selfie sticks.
This year's first official Puerto Rican day parade and festival looks to be the start of something big in Sunset Park. Not only has the neighborhood shown a resilience to standing up to police brutality, organizers are angling to stay one step ahead of the cops by building community networks.
Vendors are ready for a new relationship with City Hall. And de Blasio has already shown he is willing to sit down with regular folks and listen to their thoughts and ideas. I know that vendors are eager to share with the Mayor-elect their vision for the city.
Last Wednesday, the New York City Council passed a bil that halves the fines that can be levied on vendors. Because of this victory thousands of new immigrants who enrich our city can go to work secure in the knowledge they'll be able to feed their families.
A traveler walks a fine line every time a street peddler descends to sell us a souvenir in an impoverished country. How can one contribute to the local economy without being mobbed by desperate people -- and avoid getting pick-pocketed in the scrum?
Both gourmet food trucks and allegedly messy carts are constitutive elements of the NYC foodscape. Any attempt at deciding what category of vendor is better somehow goes against the very spirit of the city.
In the fine print of the "street vendor" license, however, it is unclear how long Tony can stand in one place. Each inspector interprets in his own way how long these "nomadic dessert sellers" can occupy the same site.
NY is home to 10,000 street vendors, the majority of whom are immigrants. The job for these workers is inherently tough. But the web of rules regulating the industry makes it even more difficult to get ahead.