Street Vendor Crackdown

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sean Basinski, director of the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, discusses the crackdown on street vendors in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the city's management of street vendors citywide. He's joined by vendor Leo Morris.


Sean Basinski and Leo Morris

Comments [15]

The Kid from Midtown

Too many "Suppliers" of merchandise have latched on to Licensed vetarn vendors who are TOO stupid to have forseen the Greed's people LIKE those "Suppliers" who have NYC one big Street "Macys"...they are Greedy and screwed up a good thing,Overcrowding the Streets,instead of JUST the licensed vendors...these Low-Life Slobs have created an inordinate amount of Vending tables on the streets.

Jan. 12 2010 06:56 PM
The Kid from Midtown

I have a Blue Midtown Disabled Veteran Vendors License. I feel that the "Artists" and the Food Vendors have MORE rights than WE do.
and those So-Called "CD Vendors" are nothing more than the new breed of 3 card monte dealers....Scam artists that NEVER adhere to the Simple laws of Impeding pedestrian traffic,NOT standing in front of a Business Doorway etc. WE Veterans work within THOSE laws.

Jan. 11 2010 11:10 PM
hager from NyC

This remind me of a movi Man pushcart great movie!

Aug. 29 2009 03:18 PM
Brian from Hoboken

What no one is mentioning is that the legal vendors there pay at auction for the right to operate (2 permits are auctioned). It is about $500K per year to the city coffers. The other thing that no one is mentioning is that some of the carts "manned" by vets are actually paying vets to be a front to get access to the site. The vets just sit and don't actually do the cooking, etc. Rules are rules. Live with it.

Aug. 28 2009 12:39 PM
Sabrina from Manhattan

Vendors are more problematic in other parts of Manhattan but the city acts only when the Met complains. Check out the Union Square area including on the southern periphery of the park (14th St) where pedestrian space is virtually gone. Ditto for across the street in front of Whole Food where vendors have crowded out pedestrians. Those are only two examples in this neighborhood. Where's the city enforcement here? I'm told that the city can't do anything because these vendors are protected by the First Amendment because they have the printed word on their products. I have a feeling those vendors would love to be around the Met but somehow the Met plaza doesn't have such vendors. Wonder why that is.

Aug. 28 2009 11:08 AM
Connie from Westchester

I frequently visit the Met. I have no objection to the venders in front of the Met. In fact I think they are a colorful and welcoming sight. The person who says a sandwich costs $14 in the cafe is incorrect. I always eat at the Met cafeteria and it usually costs less than #10....much less. It could possibly cost more if one has more expensive item on the menu and has a glass of wine. However, I think the venders are great in that they offer a quick and inexpensive (and good)alternative to the Met or any other source of getting lunch in that neighborhood.

Aug. 28 2009 11:04 AM
Peter Joseph from New York City

I went to the Met a week ago. There were about 15 vendors. They prevented no one from entering the museum, and provided a very welcome service. In fact, on my way meeting my friends, I was wondering where we could eat cheaply. The vendors answered my question. If, as Brian says, the Met is claiming that there should only be one vendor, and that they are bothering the visitors, the Met needs a management change.

Aug. 28 2009 11:02 AM
Mike C. from Downtown Manhattan

Why spend so little time on this story? I blinked and missed most of it.

Aug. 28 2009 11:01 AM
simon from new york

this guest, not the vendor is ridiculous. first of all the sandwich in the met is not 14 dollars. he playing the class card, saying it is the rich people who don't want their marble tarnished. that is absurd. if you want the right to sell, fine but to make it the rich against disabled veterans is using people to serve your point. please give us more credit than this in our debate.

Aug. 28 2009 11:00 AM
Caitlin from Jersey City

"Too difficult to enter the museum?" Please! The biggest challenge is getting through all the tourists sitting on the steps.

Aug. 28 2009 10:59 AM
uos from queens

are there licenses for these positions in prime positions? Or is this special treatment for "disabled veterans"?

I recall reading that prime positions in the city costs 400k-500k USD per year.

Aug. 28 2009 10:55 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

I went to the Met 2 weeks ago and it was crowded but not unsafe. Certainly it seemed safer than a lot of Manhattan streets where construction forces people into the road.

This is all about the Met wanting to force people to eat in their grim, overcrowded, overpriced cafeteria, as well as nearby neighbors (like Bloomberg) not liking the scene. Shame on them. No one should pay the recommended entrance fee until they stop harassing these guys!

Aug. 28 2009 10:54 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn, NY

I read about this earlier in the week; there was more to this story; wasn't there only supposed to be 2 vendors in this location, based on the permits auctioned by the city? This seemed more like an issue of veterans all converging on this location, since they don't have to pay for permits, while licensed vendors have to pay huge fees for a permit at this location. Brian, please ask your guest to elaborate.

Aug. 28 2009 10:53 AM
paul from nyc

Isn't it the Civil War veterans

Aug. 28 2009 10:52 AM
Jacqueline Cantwell from Brooklyn

New York City sidewalks are so crowded already. The vendors, legal and illegal, place pedestrians at risk.

Aug. 28 2009 10:45 AM

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