A couple of street-vending kerfuffles today: first, the less sensational one: Midtown Lunch reports that Eliana Jaramillo, a Bolivian woman who sells hot dogs at 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue, is going to court in an attempt to get back her cart, which was seized by cops who ticketed her for vending on a street less than twelve feet wide (“bogus,” claims the Street Vendor Project) and for having boxes or coolers out on the street rather than storing them in her cart (also false, they say). Apparently these sorts of seizures are par for the course in the street-vending community, but the Post brings news of a far-less-typical altercation.
According to the paper, Abdelrao Akl Hamdy, a halal-poultry vendor at Clarkson Avenue and East 37th Street in Brooklyn, became incensed when a nearby hot-dog vendor (a former employee) added chicken to his menu, in violation of a non-compete form he had signed. To fight the new competitor, Hamdy moved right next to him and halved his prices. This caused tension that included death threats, and on Wednesday, Hamdy allegedly busted out a butcher’s knife and slashed not just his prices, but also his former employee. He was arrested for assault, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. So much for Midtown Lunch’s theories about the gentlemanly comportment of old-school food vendors.