There is something that attracts me to street vendors. I love the way they take to the pavement and put it all out there for you, making every inch of space count — in New York, space comes at a premium and so sales rely not only on attracting customers, but having what they need.
When you see someone selling clothing and accessories on the street, it’s usually a good idea to get a good look at the merchandise and ask yourself why things are priced the way they are.
Hallal trucks are huge in New York right now. Hallal is the equivalent of Kosher in the world of Islam. A former coworker explained to me how the trucks operate. I asked him because it would be a bit more difficult to have a cart like this selling kosher meat, as it would require not only the vendor of the food but a mashgiach — a person who would be there to ensure the kosher status of the food and its preparation. He told me that with Hallal, it is a system of trust — either you trust the vendor implicitly or you do not.
I love the names that vendors come up for their carts. This one is called Big Boss. I’m not sure if that means that he is the big boss, or you can feel like a big boss after eating the food there.
Food carts are big business in New York and there are often lines, especially at certain times of the day. I have seen some carts with ten people waiting for food — and another cart a couple of blocks away with similar lines.
Here you can see a breakfast cart that is nearly in spitting distance of a Starbucks cafe. You would think that one would greatly affect the patronage of the other, but rest assured that both are busy in the morning and both have their established clientele. This cart not only has food and drink but copies of the New York Post for sale, for only a quarter. If you like sensational headlines with your bagel and egg in the morning, you don’t want to miss it.
I love the signs that street vendors make for their carts and tables. In case you were wondering, this gentleman sells donut and coffee.
Lastly, two beautiful sights within reach of one another — and really a classic New York one, at that. Hot dog vendor next door to a large fruit and vegetable vendor. I love the fruit vendors in New York because you can find fresh produce at superb prices. Make sure, of course, to insist on no bag — they are quick to try to bag your produce! As much as I want a piece of plastic to clog up the Pacific Ocean indefinitely, I would rather just make use of the fabric shopping bag that I have faithfully carried to work with me for five years and counting!