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40th Street Food Vendors Get the Boot

40th Street Plaza (Photo: QueensPost)

April 17, 2014 By Christian Murray

The food vendors at 40th Street have been removed.

Earlier this week, the police arrived and notified them that their time was up and that they needed to go elsewhere.

Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, said the vendors were violating the law by operating out of that location. He said they were too close to the subway stairwells, putting riders at risk in case they needed to make an emergency exit from the subway platform.

This was the primary reason cited for removing the vendors at 46th Street at the end of last year.

Conley, who last month called for the vendors’ removal at 40th Street, appeared somewhat empathic about the vendors’ plight. “I realize it is about income and making money… but at the same time it has got out of hand and it is about the law,” Conley said.

He said that the 40th Street vendors were also operating where an art installation is located, a space which will be used as part of the plaza program.

Sheref Abdelshafy, who had operated his food cart under the 40th Street No. 7 train station for 10 years, was removed as well as the operator of the Halal cart.

When Abelshafy discovered that the community board wanted him gone last month, he said it was unfair.

“I’ve been here 10 years selling bagels and coffee and I have never had any problems with anyone,” he said at the time.

Sheref Abdelshafy’s cart (Photo: SunnysidePost)

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75 Comments

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JEN

NOW, FROM CVS, THE VENDOR CART IS IN FRONT OF TD BANK….YES!…MY BLOCK. I PAID $1,500.00 A MONTH TO LIVE IN THIS SO CALL HIPSTER HOOD. I HOPE WHEN I COME HOME TONIGHT THIS VENDOR CART IS OUT OF THERE!!!!….AND TO JIMMY VAN BRAMER, GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF MY BLOCK!

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Doge

Messer, I propose putting every last vendor in a giant meat grinder, and donating the ground meat to local doge shelters.

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Nomo Ron

@ Messer Oh, I like your last post. “Have paid off enough local politicians,” is a favorite phrase. I like that very much. “Free-for-all competition,” rings in my ears. And “community board and even our city councilor have no authority or ability to remove. . .vendors.”

So, if I read you right, any attempt to do so is an “abuse of power.”

Let’s get rid of the abusers. Is anyone setting up a petition? Picketing? The blogger behind “Vanishing New York,” which is documenting the way Bloomberg and his cronies sold the city to the highest bidders right out from under the people who did NOT elect him the third time, has started agitating for people to take the city back.

How about a little virtual tarring and feathering? Any graphic artists up to the task to depict Joe Conley in such an outer garb? I’d hand out fliers.

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Messer

@ doge

It sounds as though you just disagree on a fundamental level with the NYC vendor laws, which allow vendors to make sure of NYC sidewalks and public spaces (within limits). To address these points, you would be best served by lobbying Councilman Van Bramer to bring a bill before the city council to require vendors to pay rents (to the city I presume?) at rates equivalent to the nearby brick and mortar stores.

Personally, I disagree with that position, mainly as that space isn’t specifically allocated, and usage rights and permits are not only given to those with the right connections. NYC vending is a free-for-all – competition at its finest. Get the cart, get the product, make it good, and work hard, for long hours. Anyone can do it, even you. All the same, if a store paying $120k in rent annually thinks it is such a great location and advantage, they can also get a cart and sell morning coffee. They can do that in lieu of or in addition to their store. If they don’t, it either means they don’t think its a big enough deal, they don’t want to spend the time or effort, or they have paid off enough local politicians to get rid of the competition for them.

However, regardless of the merits, until such a legal change occurs, vendors have a right to occupy their positions and sell their permitted goods in compliance with the current laws. Our community board and even our city councilor have no authority or ability to remove these or any other vendors. The only power the board our the individual “representatives” have is to recommend to the full city council that it adds the Sunnyside plazas as prohibited vending locations. Until such time, any statements from the community board or Joe Conley that the vendors are not allowed is incorrect, misleading and an abuse of power.

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cj

hahaha there cant be any emergencies if the 7 train is RARELY working. This is ridiculous. This is sunnyside culture.

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doge

messer, I must admit, you have outstanding debating skills. The fact of the matter is, the food carts do NOT pay any rent. The brick and mortar businesses have families to support too, not just this guy. I believe in fairness, and not appealing to emotions. So what if he’s an immigrant, all Americans are immigrants (unless you’re native)
The whole thing with square footage is totally irrelevant. Any real-estate professional will tell you, it’s not about square footage, its all about location. Im sure you don’t think a 1000 sq ft store in the middle of Montanta pays the same rent as a 1000 sq ft store in Times Square. These carts use public space for commercial gain. Just because they are legally allowed to, does not make it fair. Laws have been constantly changing since the dawn of man. They don’t pay for carting, when all businesses do. Their waste gets picked up on tax payer dime. Why shouldn’t they pay for carting like everyone else?
Whats your excuse for that?

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me

lol got the boot and today he is in front & blocking 1/2 the bus stop in front of CVS on 41st St…..thumbing his nose at american laws!

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Messer

@doge

I was using very rough numbers (really a cart is likely smaller). However, they don’t pay any rent at all, so its is immaterial. They pay a cart storage fee for if and when they close for the day/night, which is different from true ‘rent’ and based on other factors. The space a vendor occupies is 100% rent free and available to all (including you or a nearby brick and mortar location).

However, just looking at my original sample numbers, you wouldn’t calculate the entire under-train plaza as the vendors anymore than you would include the surrounding sidewalk for a restaurant. I’m not even sure how you would think that the tiny takeout cart should pay as much as a full store on an absolute basis. I’ll bet if a full restaurant pays $10k a month in rent, that take-out Dominos® pizza pays much less as well.

A restaurant needs more space for a full kitchen, dining room, bathrooms and other necessities. Those extras are what differentiates a restaurant and allows them to grow into a recognizable place worth traveling to. Naturally, there is a rental cost for such space and presence. A vendor, on the other hand, has no amenities or control over the surroundings, cant offer seating or bathrooms, and can only really attract those who happen to walk by and be hungry.

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NewYorkCynic

I got home last night and really wanted a falafel sandwich. Was very disappointed the cart wasn’t there.

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doge

Messer, either you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer or you’re related to the cart guy. You’re calculating the square footage of the cart itself versus the entire restaurant including it’s dining area. This is irrelevant, since the surrounding space of the cart is far greater than a 1000 square feet, and the surrounding space is the dining area. No one is going inside the cart to eat, its a take out establishment like a Dominos® pizza is.

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Anonymous

@Messer I appreciate you taking the time for nuanced response; there is not enough of that here. I don’t agree with everything, but I like your style.

I hope the community can come together and make space for all comers. The spaces these carts were in continue to be underutilized. And if we really are getting those plazas, food on site would be great. I don’t want this to be an either/or thing – I’d imagine the vendors would love to have nearby seating (one of the much vaunted amenities of restaurants) just as much as I’d like something to eat while I sit and read or people watch.

Let’s make that space a place that people want to be.

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Messer

@ Anonymous

You missed the point entirely. It is not about vendors being generic – its about not vendors not being of they type of business that Can develop a customer following. The standard halal cart has a generic name because people wouldn’t ever seek out a specific cart – it doesn’t make any sense for the offering available. Even the renowned halal cart at 53rd and 6th in Midtown doesn’t ever get people to take a train to eat there.

As you said, a good brick and mortar can and does bring people from all over the city. This is because they offer an experience. Table service, , meeting place, atmosphere, full and varied menu, complex dishes and flavors, full kitchen, and decor to name a few. Those are all generally unavailable to a vendor, where you grab a Styrofoam carton of quick food on the side of a street. Even for incredible schwarma (which is harder to get perfect as the “kitchen” in a cart is so limited), no one is coming from far away.

Because of this important difference, it doesn’t make any sense for a vendor to invest in name recognition, as that’s wasted effort. They can just call it “Sunnyside Halal” and it would bring in the same customer’s that it always would.

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Messer

@ doge

No, on an absolute scale, a food cart does not pay anywhere near the total annual costs of rent for a nearby brick and mortar. However, that generally is fine. Just to use example numbers, if a 1,000 sq foot store pays $10,000 per month ($10 per sq foot), and the average cart pays storage costs of $200 per month for its 20 sq feet of space, it ends up paying the same amount per square foot.

Like I’ve said before, your argument isn’t a great one, as it can’t even be applied among the brick and mortars. What if Foxy’s and Pete’s paid vastly different rents? Should we force one to close so it is fair to the other? Businesses get whatever advantages they can, and that is a good thing. If a vendor has lower operating costs, they also have lower potential revenue. Only selling bagels and coffee to passer-bys for a few morning hours isn’t going to net the same as having a full menu and tables and chairs. It makes sense that the costs to run a overall smaller shop are less.

To your other point that you believe remains unanswered – Anyone who gets a permit from the city can set up show there. Even you – just fill out the application linked by Ms. Morehead. I confirmed in the statute that locations for vendors is on a first come-first serve. If you get your permit and beat the coffee guy – spots all yours that day. Likewise, if one of the brick and mortars wants to take advantage of those incredible opportunities, they can set up a cart as well.

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Anonymous

@doge He’ll try to spin it with the talk how nobody knows the carts names.

There are several reasons nobody knows the carts names: they all have generic names that hardly vary, they tend to offer the same take on standard dishes (no unique spin that would cause people to seek it out). People will take the time to know your cart name if you have something that can be committed to memory and offer something that is better than the competition.

By way of example, The King of Falafel and Shawarma in Astoria at least has a name that’s slightly better than just “So and so’s Halal,” and they offer a better than generic take on their dishes.

If anyone is supposed to care about the food carts they need to care about themselves by elevating their name (so that it can actually be remembered) and by making the food tasty so you will seek them out. Short of that, of course nobody knows your name. People may know the brick and mortar Salt & Fat, but they’d have a harder time if there were carts called Fat & Salt, Salt Fat, Salty Fat, Salty & Fatty operating.

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doge

No one has answered my question…. Why is the “bagel guy” allowed to set up shop at 40th street (rent free), but NO ONE ELSE is not allowed???? Does the bagel guy own that space? Why is that fair? If he is allowed to sell food there, everyone else should be too.

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doge

Messer, So if an average brick and mortar on Queens blvd costs 10,000 a month to rent, which comes out to $120,000 a year, you’re telling me the fees the food cart pays annually is equvelent to $120,000?

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

Seeing all the rage in here warms my heart. I feel like Emperor palpatine …yessss..yessss..let the hate flow!

Rise up and REBEL you sheep. Take Sunnyside BACK!

I’ve only been saying this stuff for like what ? 2 years now?

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Hoof Hearted

I’d like to see Joe Conley get a real job like this food vendor, busting his butt all day, providing a service people are willing to pay for. Instead, he makes a living as a politician whoring himself to the monied interests.

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House of O'Shea

See what happens when you develop a serious case of [email protected]$$ syndrome ?
@moorehead
So stopping the man from selling hot sugared water and fried dough improves Sunnyside in what way? Please stop this f$$kery.

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

The landlord of the former 5 Pointz got a waiver to build higher than the zoning laws allowed but apparently if you’re a humble food vendor with no political connections, the law becomes a non-negotiable iron fist.

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Dawn O'Day

It has been rumored for many, many years the the CB2 chair is held by a man whose salary comes from a real-estate company. I’ve been saying that for years, but no one cared. There seems to be a groundswell against him now, but he has already done so much damage to the people who live here. I am not anti-business, but I most certainly am pro-resident.

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Julia Assange

Messer has made the best and most informed comments. Dump Joe Conley and the other members of that dopey board. They do not represent me or the other people who actually live here!

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

If Conley and the rest of CB 2 TRULY believe the cart is a safety hazard in case of an emergency, then get rid of that silly art exhibit that also blocks the path of people exiting the subway – oh and it can’t be moved easily, it is bolted to the pavement.

Do that NOW, otherwise you are simply full of shit.

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Anowamas

@40th St

Okay. You’re good. It’s just that ever since the “new people” started coming in, Sunnyside has changed in ways that doesn’t feel right. All the ultramodern businesses, venues, and residential buildings that are making way alter the quaint, diverse, old-fashioned neighborhood feeling. I’m just glad you care.

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Dawn O'Day

@Dorothy Morehead Since the vendors were removed–or will be removed–for violations, I suppose other vendors will be vying for the chance to set up in legal spots in Sunnyside. That is, if these vendors were really removed for those reasons.

I suppose it is only street cart vendors who don’t follow all the rules businesses in NY must follow, right? No other business person has ever been accused of underpaying their taxes, illegal dumping, uncleanliness,

I also suppose the BID is actively seeking these carts in order to serve every business niche in the neighborhood. After all, not everyone who will come to enjoy the plazas, the concerts, the pub crawls, etc., will be able to afford a meal in a brick and mortar restaurant.

Or, do they really want what I suspect they want, that the working poor on a tight budget just go haunt some other neighborhood?

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Messer

@ RBNPLNNR

Nothing in particular in Dorothy’s comment (while appreciated) was “spot on”. From the “community representatives” side, this entire conversation about space and vendors has been spoken in generalities and filled with single-case fallacies.

A spot on argument would specifically cite regulations as backup for claims. Stating that some do, therefore all do and will is wrong. Stating that actions are illegal without proof is an empty statement. Stating that costs are different, without citing proof of harm balanced against potential benefit, fails to give the community its due care.

Let’s elevate the conversation.

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Messer

@ Dorothy Morehead

Thanks for the response. I have a few questions and comments on your points, as below:

1. Could you please point to a restriction that would prevent NYC street vendors from setting up underneath elevated train platforms? As far as I am aware, vendor placement is governed by NY ADC. 17-315 which describes a good many restrictions on distance from certain structures, but in no way is there a restriction based on elevated train tracks or platforms. In fact, there is a well-documented food truck gathering at the end of the high-line, located under the tracks. If you could point out why you believe placement under the el is prohibited, I would fully support the vendor’s relocation.

2. Similarly, while my point was that many vendors do pay overnight rents, there is no restriction on 24 hour carts, and if a vendor is able to maintain cart placement wile following all laws and regulations on sanitation, employment and otherwise, there is no reason I can find to not allow it. If a single vendor breaks specific rules, there is a very proscribed process the city has to deal with that vendor. None of those rules involve banning all vendors from a set location.

3. The vendor annual fees are minuscule compare to rents. I agree. However, for all the points I’ve previously listed, this is a straw man argument. A vendor is not the same as a store. They don’t have the same customers, advantages, disadvantages. Why would their operational costs be the same. A Sunnyside vendor is a Sunnyside business, and should be treated the same.

4. If vendors do not pay the appropriate taxes, there are enforcement actions in place. Likewise, and quite identically, I’ve never worked in a restaurant where the waitstaff payed taxes on the full value of received tips, as required by law. I assume that to follow your logic we will need to shut down all Sunnyside restaurants? Not to mention the number of cash-based retailers and service providers in Sunnyside that very likely have sought to minimize their own tax bill…

5. Sanitation may often be poor, but it doesn’t have to be poor. That a situation can be bad is no reason to close the vendors. If a vendor fails to follow the rules, there are very specific repercussions, governed by NY ADC. 17-325. None of those are general area restrictions put in place by a community board. I agree that our carts should abide by the rules, but as you can see by the comments, there is not only room for them, but a great demand.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further, and hope to see you at the April 30th meeting.

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Dorothy Morehead

@ Messer your post is accurate; however, the vendors under the el are not legal because of the very fact that they are under the el. If they meet other requirements and set up their carts on the street, they would be fine.
Re the cost of parking the carts overnight. The halal vendor at 46th Street never left. The cart was there 24/7. I saw for myself that food supplies for that cart were transported in the trunk of a car. There are a number of food cart storage places in western Queens–one only eight blocks away– where the carts are stored; leftover food is discarded, packing materials bundled for recycling and carts hosed down. Not so for that vendor.
Yes, the vendors pay annual fees but they are miniscule compared to rents.
Many vendors pay no taxes. I recall a situation in which the NYC Dept of Finance collected the records of the companies selling the hot dogs and buns to estimate actual vendor sales. I don’t remember the details, but only a very small percentage of the sales was reported.
Sanitation is often poor. Where do the vendors wash and go to the bathroom? When the halal vendor at 46th Street received a violation and close order by the Dept of Health, he removed the cart with the violation attached and immediately replaced it with another cart.
I’m not against food carts. When I was working in Manhattan, the falafel cart on 52nd and Park was a favorite. They came in time for lunch and were gone about 2:30 leaving no garbage behind. The cart was very clean, didn’t block traffic during rush hours and the food was very good at a reasonable price. There is room for the food carts but they must abide by the rules.

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40th St

Please don’t blame “new people” and “hipsters” for what is going on. I count as both (I guess) and I don’t agree with what is happening here either! I appreciate the long-standing small businesses in Sunnyside, and the stable community of long-time residents. I am happy to see some new restaurants and the new coffee shop but I don’t understand ANY of what is happening under 40th St subway. The “art installation” and the “plaza” seem like total nonsense, and I think it is a real shame to put the food trucks out of business.

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Messer

@doge

First and foremost, a vendor gets to enjoy that prime real estate because the New York City laws permit vending, and the city has long been better for it. There are designated areas that vendors can use (far enough from doors, crosswalks, sidewalk edges and so forth). It is fair because it adds options and competition to our neighborhood and our city.

A vendor sacrifices a good deal of benefits that a brick and mortar has in order to make use of that spot. They cannot advertise or have specials in the same manner. They can’t offer a broad range of options. They don’t offer seating or any dining experience. They work incredibly long hours for a very small margin. They need to stand in a small metal box next to a hot grill despite potentially terrible weather.

As has been said time and time again, a vendor doesn’t just set up for free. They pay for an annual vendor license. They pay for nightly storage of their cart (rent). They buy food in small quantities (missing bulk discounts) They pay for a commercial kitchen to prepare food. They pay delivery charges to restock the cart. They pay for expensive fuel and generators to power the cart.

Also, what is the name of the cart? That’s right, no-one knows. People know Salt & Fat, but they don’t know ‘the cart’. The vendors can’t build a customer following, so at the end of they day, they are replaceable. They know this too, and it become a risk of taking such an “easy” job.

As far as sneaking in before he sets up – I believe it is allowed, but there is a code among vendors that a long-standing vendor in a space has priority there. I’m not sure if there are actual ramifications for breaking it, but, like any group, there may be repercussions behind the scene.

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Anonymous

@Sunnysider Sunnyside Shines didn’t put the artwork there, DOT did, so no you won’t be suing them. More articles from this very blog:

http://sunnysidepost.com/2013/10/16/artworkexercise-equipment-goes-up-under-40th-street-station/

http://sunnysidepost.com/2013/09/19/artwork-under-40th-street-station-goes-up-today/

“I’m trying to bring art and function [to the area],” said Darren Goins, the artist, who worked with the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club in putting together the design. “It’s about the concept of simple shapes…with simple equipment.”

Art and function? This place has neither. In short, if you fall and sue, go after the responsible parties: the artist, Darren Goins, the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club, and NYC DOT.

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Sunnysider

I don’t take the subway very often at 40th street but this week I got off at 40th street and almost fell on the “mats” or whatever they are called surrounding the “art work”! If I broke my leg could I sue Sunnyside shines? I’m All about beautifying the neigherhood but that ART WORK s a joke. Use the money for planting Flowers and trees and keeping our neigherhood clean and safe. I think it would be much more beneficial .

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doge

Another question: Think about this one… Why can’t I, or anyone else set up a food cart there 10 minutes before he arrives every morning? Does he own that land? Does he have a deed? HOW is that fair? Thats prime real estate since its situated between the North and South side, making it accessible from everywhere. Again, why does this guy get to enjoy prime real estate for free while everyone else has to pay high rent?

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doge

Will someone please explain how it fair that this guy gets to set up at a PRIME location for free, while store owners have to shell out $10,000 a month.

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Miss Anne Throap

What are they drinking or smoking at these community board meetings? Must be good sh*t because you’d have to be stoned out of your gourd to think people want to sit and chill out under a gloomy subway viaduct where there’s no sunlight and several very busy and dangerous lanes of traffic belching out car exhaust on either side of you. Sounds like a great place to bring the kiddies. Breathe in all those car fumes children, it’s good for your lungs! Now go play on those strange pieces of scrap metal.

I’d swear LSD must be making a comeback.

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Anowamas

@ anonymous (April 17, 2014 • 2:20 pm)

The “new people” are viewing us “original people” as wallpaper, and they are ripping it apart piece by piece. It’s as if they now control Sunnyside. Their attitude toward us is cold and disrespectful. The “new people” have no hearts whatsoever.

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bored of health

aint no handwashing goin down in that rolling bacteria laboratory. good riddance.

signed,
bored of health

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They Made Me a Zombie

There is no way I can survive in my hometown anymore. The vultures have descended and I’ve always been economically weak. The only place I can afford to buy is in burnt out neighborhoods of Baltimore or Detroit.

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Jonathan

Blatant. No one is complaining about the food carts. Politicians just pushing their agenda. Its a shame nobody gives a damn about their surroundings.

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Boss Tweed would be proud

@messer

If they gave you an honest answer, it might go something like this: “we do the bidding of our big business overlords, if any of you insignificant, working class nobodies gets in their way, you’re toast. Tough shit and don’t forget to vote for me.”

But if you got an answer at all, it would be some weaselly, Orwellian doublespeak, no doubt

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Anayomous

Sunnyside is quickly losing ground as being very desirable. Long-time businesses are closing due to landlord’s high asking prices. Apartments are difficult to rent because they are priced out of range for the average individual. So, these renovated, Sunnyside apartments are not being rented, unless the landlord is willing to come down in asking price.

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Messer

I would be interested in hearing from one of the proponents of the vendor removal. I understand that some people don’t like the look of them, and some would never eat there, but that isn’t a reason to kick out a business. I personally don’t eat at White Castle, but think it is good to have in the community as others do eat there and like it.

I want to hear from someone who wants the vendors gone and who thinks that is the best thing for our community.

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Anonymous

No one asked for the artwork! I am so disappoints. So sad to see what is seconding of Sunnyside

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Fr Ted

a plaza under the subway station , in fairness whos going to hang out there when and if this famous plaza is ever built , have you ever left the 7 train witnessed the stampede to get the hell away from the train station . at least the vendor had an eye for business when he set up shop there .

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Celtic Bark

Joe Conley and his cronies really must think Sunnysiders are the most gullible, dimwitted, brainwashed morons to believe this blatant pack of lies, steaming pile of bovine fecal matter and phony baloney excuses.

I’m glad to see that the commenters on here at least, can see right through the wanton greed and blatant unfairness at work here.

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allow me to retort

This food vendor also sells coffee and he gets shut down just a couple of weeks before a international, corporate owned coffee shop franchise “Caffe bene” is due to open up right across the street from here.

Coincidence?

If you think so, I have some ocean view, beach front property in Kansas to sell you.

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Darko Nite

The dollar signs in they’re eyes are blinding them both to the evil karma they are building up.

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Fr Ted

so the food vendor gets the boot at 40th street , and the taste of sunnyside is going ahead at 46th street . I,m sure the cart was cleaner than where the taste of sunnyside is going to happen . hipsters with their instagram accounts at it again , #starbucks, #dude #totally #isowantaplazaunderthe7train. !

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Rick Duro

So, an easily movable coffee cart is a danger because it blocks egress…what about the UNMOVABLE ‘art’?!

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Messer

This is disgraceful. As I have said before, removing the vendors is a thinly veiled excuse for other interests. Anyone with a basic understanding of business and competition knows that additional competition is healthy for the area, and more particularly for the customers.

Each time an action is taken, the reasons for it change shape. First it was about unfair competition. Then sanitation. Then about beautifying our community. Then it was about ruining an “art” installation. Now, it appears as though its purely an issue of obstructing safe exits. This is one of the most specious arguments available, as it presumes fleeing individuals would pour out of the stairwell without looking, cross the few meters and run into the cart, causing a pile-up. Not even to mention that the proposed parks, with “planters, benches and movable tables and chairs” is bound to provide significant more obstruction than a 3’x5′ shiny silver cart. Absurdities abound!

Again, if there is a specific legal violation (food on the ground, not enough signage, too close to egress), a warning and violation should be given and corrections allowed. Outright removal is not a solution that the community should accept.

Food carts are a matter of fact in New York City, and the residents are often better for them (not just for their cheap, accessible and plentiful food) but for the competition they do provide and the improvement they bring to other businesses.

On the matter of clearing the space for plazas, I question whether the residents really want this change, and if so, whether room couldn’t be made to accommodate both vendors and tables. First, who really wants to sit in chairs under a train platform, with a busy dangerous highway on either side. It seems odd for the community to at the same time hold meetings to address the huge dangers of our roads, and at the same time act as though its a perfect place for families to sit and relax. Why would anyone want to sit in the shade while loud cars and trains pass beside and above?

I highly encourage every reader to attend the April 30th meeting to voice their thoughts (both good and bad) on these changes to our neighborhood and the proposed plazas.

April 30 at 6:30 at Sunnyside Community Services, located at 43-13 39 St. I’ll see you all there. Perhaps we can get some answers from our “representatives” on why our interests are never really represented.

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David I

The excuses for getting rid of the food carts are PATHETIC… Safety issue? There are 4 exits facing each other, he is a good 20-25 feet away, who is he stopping from exiting the 7 train in an emergency? NOBODY could really believe this is a safety issue. The other reason they gave is just funny to me… the art installation. Really, are we still calling those crappy bike racks art? I am an art lover, I understand lots of modern art doesn’t look like what most consider a “work” of art… but frankly that twisted metal has no aesthetic value whatsoever, it looks like exercise equipment.

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allow me to retort

About the law my ass, it’s about the money. How come the letter of the law doesn’t apply when real estate developers want “variances” around zoning regulations?

Also, there was more artistic creativity on the felafels that came out of that cart than there is in that piece of crap, so-called art installation.

Let me get this straight, the food cart that is on wheels and can be moved quickly represents a danger to people making an emergency exit from the station, but those twisted pieces of metal bolted to the ground, do not?

Absolute, greedy, corrupt, deceitful BS.

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Anonymous

Yeah, call Joe and tell him that you’d like the food vendor to come back to the location he’s legally not allowed to operate out of. I’m in favor of food carts, and certainly appreciate being able to grab a quick and cheap bite late at night, but the discussion starts and ends with this: the law says no to posting up at that location. The community board’s mistake was waiting so long to take action.

Don’t like the law and the result of its application? Change it.

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Julia Assange

Joe Conley is a puppet and a tool of special interests. These guys were earning an honest living. Do you really want a plaza under the number 7? I’m sure the pigeons will just love it!

Reply
Craic Dealer

This is ridiculous. All other restaurants are closed late at night and these vendors are there to fill the late night demand.

Call Joe and tell him how you feel: (718) 533-8773 // [email protected]

Reply
neverforget

Shreef was ma main coffee dude! And Baruirs is a joke since they don’t open before 9:30

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Frank Daykin

Is is so transparently a move toward the “plaza” concept, and it is abusive to the vendors. Besides, when and IF those plazas ever happen, who is going to want to “sit” there without a few concessions available, conveniently and cheaply. Sad

Reply
anonymous

the small town feel of sunnyside is coming to an end. they’re slowly turning it into an extension of manhattan and as a result they’re driving away the people that made sunnyside what it is.

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