Al Jazeera Video Gets Serious About Street Vendors


The Food Cart Song video I posted earlier in the week was fun, but this video that Sarah DiGregorio from Fork in the Road discovered this week about food vendors in Midtown is the real deal.  It aired on Al Jazeera earlier in the year, and actually delves into serious issues that effect the people who serve some of our favorite food in Midtown.  One of the issues, which rarely gets mentioned, is the ”unwritten brotherhood” between vendors over who can park in which spots (especially in Midtown.)  In fact, one of hot dog vendors interviewed talked about how angry he was over the Steak Truck’s arrival on his corner back in August of last year

Here are some of the more interesting tidbits (but I would recommend watching the whole 12 minute video if you have the time:

  • The hot dog vendor in front of MoMa paid $300,000 to occupy the spot for 3 years.
  • Most vendors only make between $7000 and $14,000 a year
  • Sean Basinski, the lawyer who runs the Street Vendor Project and Vendy Awards, used to sell burritos from a cart on Park Avenue
  • Tony Dragonas took over his cart’s spot from his father 25 years ago
  • In 1994, one street vendor went on a hunger strike for 3 days when then Mayor Giuliani turned his street into a “no food vendor parking” block

Watch the whole video here

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