Upscale Street Vendors Spark NYC Food Fight

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Upscale Street Vendors Spark NYC Food Fight
A street vendor sells food in New York City.   (Getty Images)

Old guard NYC food vendors are serving up a side of invective with their hot dogs, aimed at upscale newcomers disturbing the traditional order, the Times reports. In the last year the recession has pushed white-collar workers of all stripes onto the street, but the newbies don’t understand—or won’t abide by—the community’s arcane rules. “I should not have to carry a baseball bat on my truck in order to sell cupcakes,” says one.

Street vendors are barely regulated; spots on the pavement are handed down from generation to generation, and a black market for permits inflates the $200 sticker price to as much as $15,000. And the community is resistant to change. “A new vendor used to mean someone’s cousin coming in from Egypt,” a blogger said. “Now it’s a major culture clash.” Not that the newcomers aren’t in dire straits. “The whole Brooklyn Philharmonic season was canceled,” says one bassoonist-turned-ice cream man. “I have to get through the summer somehow.” (More New York City stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.