Bryant Park Corp Calls Food Carts “Terrible Citizens”

DNAinfo published a story yesterday about the ongoing tension between brick and mortar business owners and food vendors. The 34th Street Partnership is now attempting to launch a campaign that would reduce the number of vendors allowed in Midtown. They quoted the head of the Partnership who called the vendors “the ugliest collection of vehicles,” and “terrible citizens.” They also want the carts to “beautify” themselves to look more like attractive carts like Wafels & Dinges. And they claim this campaign would make Midtown much more pleasant for residents.

First of all, who the hickity heck lives in this part of Midtown? Secondly, this would make it much less pleasant for us ML’ers who value the carts for their delicious, affordable food as an alternative to the generic and overpriced chain restaurants in the area. Not to mention that most of these vendors are legitimate businesses and provide job opportunities for many immigrant workers in this city. And as much as we love Wafels & Dinges around these parts, who wants all the carts on the street to look the same??

The campaign is still in the early stages and I doubt it will get much traction behind it. And anyway, all of this  sounds eerily familiar and is just another hurdle in the ongoing fight for the freedom of our street meat.


  • Let ‘em try, but there’s no way we’ll let them beat our meat!

  • Is it just me or does this all sound mildly racist? Why is the Wafels & Dinges carts beautiful but *all* other carts are ugly. I find carts decked out with photos of street meat to be perfectly beautiful!

    And lumping all carts into one big category and saying they’re all terrible citizens isn’t right either.

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    i like the way the wafle and dinges cart looks too. most carts that i see look fine, if not a bit generic with their all metalic outsides while the wafle cart has a nice paint job and even a few flags. everything about the appearance makes it stand out instead of looking like it wants to hide away but that is also part of expanding a brand. most of the carts aren’t a brand, they are just carts, unlike rafiqi carts that have that red coloring all around because they are branded

    • Yeah, but I’d love to see a list of the Bryant Park corporation members – probably representatives of all the chainy-ass stores that are popping up that expect everyone to fall into their corporate branded lockstep.

      I anticipate an inevitable William Gibson-style vision of the future, with rogue yakitori and jerk chicken grills over old oil drums under a dead sky, tuned to a gray channel. But I’d damn well look forward to the yakitori!

  • I think the carts look fine. If anything, the W&D cart with the garish yellow Steelers look is the one that’s out of place. NYC is a worse place as long as “The 34th Street Partnership” is in existence.

  • Bryant Park operators are terrible citizens for filling their park with a skating rink, carousel, restaurants, lounges, bars, etc. all for profit, instead of allowing people to enjoy a quiet refuge.

  • I can’t stand Bryant Park now, it used to be the best place to go for lunch, now it’s filled with annoying accordion players in the summer, and annoying ice skaters in the winter, and something else annoying in between, bring back the quiet, open space all year round.

    As for the carts, I say get rid of the pretty waffles trucks (waffles for lunch?) and add more real lunch carts like the Paki crew, they feed the work force and look just fine.

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    If the carts looked all glammed-up, but the food is overhyped and not edible, what’s the point?

  • There’s nothing I hate more than politicians and “partnership representatives.” I still get emails from that b*tch council woman uptown….who I spammed for weeks when she came out against trucks/carts. I say we gather them all, tie bricks to their feet, and throw them into an empty swimming pool and drown them in white sauce. Death by mayo product. F’ing politicians. Only thing worse are cops….

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