Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Street Vending (But Were Too Busy Scarfing Dirty-Water Dogs to Ask)

Photo: Urban Omnibus

Even if you manage to score one of New York’s precious few street-vending licenses (there’s currently a move to raise the long-standing cap), you’re in for a hard-knock life. That’s why designer Candy Chang recently teamed with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and with Sean Basinski of the Street Vendor Project to create an awesome pamphlet for street vendors meant to demystify the city’s jargon-filled regulations.

It’s pretty nifty — the poster features a history of street-vending’s friends and foes (Ed Koch declared peddling a “noble profession,” while Giuliani cracked down on it and Bloomberg upped fines to up to $1,000), advice on how to evade police harassment, a look at vendor population numbers and makeup throughout history (there are 8,000 now as opposed to 14,000 during the Great Depression; 75 percent used to be Jewish, but now the leading ethnicity is Bangladeshi at 18 percent), cartoons of real-life vendors (Munnu Dewan says he only sells twenty hot dogs a day at 2 Lafayette Street), and finally a list of famous former vendors (Jay-Z was once one — dude did say he checks Cheddar like a food inspector). See designer Chang’s description of making the pamphlets and then check out the pamphlet itself.