Street Vendors Talk “Unwritten Rules” on Video
Following our coverage of last week’s spat between the Frites N Meats Truck and the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck the WSJ hit the streets of Midtown with a camera to interview a few food truck owners about the unwritten rules of street vending (aka you don’t park in another vendor’s spot). The video is mostly worthwhile, although focusing on competition between trucks parked next to each other is a red herring. (There’s also something funny and ironic about hearing Vadim from FnM talk about an understanding that trucks came too in the past year and a half- as if these unwritten rules haven’t been used by vendors for decades.)
The real problem created by Rickshaw and Frites N Meats parking together on 48th is not one of competition. It goes back to the original issue that we’ve been talking about forever… the fact that vending from a truck in Midtown is almost entirely illegal, and the more trucks that park in Midtown, the more attention they draw to themselves in high traffic areas (i.e. right in front of the Fox News Building) the more chance there will be of a crackdown.
The video makes it seem like the spot on 48th in front of Fox is *now* off limits. The truth is, it was always off limits. It is not legal to park on 48th btw. 6+7th, and trucks have been getting kicked out of that spot for years. For whatever reason, the building finally decided to allow the one truck a day to park there, until that one truck turned into two. And now the spot is done. So, what’s the answer? According to the video some of the new school trucks are forming some kind of organization to lobby the city on their behalf. Check it out, after the jump…