Thursday, June 28, 2007

Vendors Go Home!

Melinda Katz has introduced a bill that would eliminate the food vendors on Continental.

"The restriction would affect "the side streets along Austin Street, from 72nd Avenue to 68th Avenue on both sides of Continental Avenue," said James McClelland, a spokesman for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills)."

The issue has been the cause of heated debate here, with about half for and half against the vendors.

Personally, I like them. I don't buy the 'We should try to be more like Greenwich, CT' argument because Continental is right outside the express stop. Even 34th st. and 86th street in Manhattan is a lower class than the surrounding streets because of the express subways. Major express stop blocks are just not going to be as nice - the food carts have nothing to do with it. Not to mention, there are food carts all up Madison Ave in the 60's and 70's and they're not exactly low rent districts.

I don't like the weekenders any more than you do, but it's not like if we ban the vendors, they're all going to stay home. They'll still come to Value Depot and leave their empty Starbucks cups on the muni-meters, right next to a mother f'n trash can. But the more dining options, the more the neighborhood places will have to get their shit together. And the vendors (since they're owned and operated) are usually much more pleasant than the "I'm only doing this because my father won't let me have the Mercedes until I do" 19 year olds at the in-store places.

Lastly, these are not down-on-their-luck old women selling pound cake from a blanket. These are pretty high-end enclosed food carts. Let the vendors stay, I say.

The story: http://www.timesledger.com/site/news.asp?brd=2676&pag=460&dept_id=551069