If Bloomberg Loves Calexico, He Should Judge the Vendy Awards!

The Mayor & Contessa Brewer Eating Street Meat. Photo Courtesy of Eater.

Who would have guessed it but the mayor likes spicy street food! Eater reported on Friday that Mayor Bloomberg visited the Calexico Cart down in SoHo and enjoyed a steak burrito extra spicy while being interviewed by NBC.  According to this article in the New York Post he was being asked to respond to comments made by the Mayor of Portland claiming that their street food is better than New York’s.  I’ve got no comment on that (!?!) but was really surprised to see Bloomberg enjoying some street food.  I always assumed he was in the Guiliani camp when it came to vendors (good old Rudy would have been happy to have seen them all disappear), but it’s good to hear he was defending our vendors against Portland.

As for what he really thinks?  I emailed Sean Basinski from the Street Vendor Project (the non profit organization that runs the Vendy Awards and advocates for vendors here in NYC) to get the lowdown…

Here was his response:

“That [NBC] segment with Bloomberg sounds very interesting. While he has not been as outspoken against vendors as Guiliani was, his policies have been more harmful to our community. It was Bloomberg that quadrupled vending fines from $250 to $1000, and he opposes Intro 324, which as you know would lift license and permit caps, allowing people to vend legally. SVP has been trying to get a meeting with him for three years — we never hear back. We asked him to join you as a judge at this year’s Vendys — no response.

It’s hard to know how he feels personally, but he’s been questioned a couple times on the radio about vendors and has always been very dismissive. He was on the John Gambling show last week and got a question. You can listen here if you are really interested. The question starts at 15:13.”

Hmmm… that doesn’t sound like a great track record, but Calexico won last year’s Vendy Awards… and the Mayor likes Calexico… so maybe it’s not a lost cause. And it’s only natural that the Mayor should want to sit alongside me at the Vendy Awards Judging table this year! Whattaya say Mike? If you don’t want to do it for the free food, at least do it for the children.

No word on when the NBC piece will air, but as soon as I find out I’ll let you (and my mom) know… I was interviewed for the piece as well, and hopefully won’t end up on the cutting room floor!


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