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Food Vendor Sets Up under the 46th Station, Unaware of Community Board’s Stance

May 26, 2014 By Christian Murray

A food vendor selling Chinese/Indian meals set up shop under the 46th Street train station Saturday, the first food vendor to so since December.

The operator, a Tibetan immigrant, said that he planned to work at the 46th Street location on weekends. He said he works in the Union Square district on weekdays.

The operator, who started working in Sunnyside for the first time this weekend, said he was unaware of any issues in Sunnyside with food vendors working by the train stations. He said he lived on 47th Street and 50th Avenue and did not know that Community Board 2 was opposed to vendors being there .

The vendor, who didn’t want to be named, was selling dumplings, chicken curry, fried rice, chicken biryani, chicken chow mein and lamb & rice.

The community board has held the opinion that food vendors have an unfair advantage over nearby eateries. Restaurants, the board argues, are subject to vigorous inspections from the health department, yet food vendors are not. Furthermore, they don’t pay rent.

However, of more significance, the vendors have been kicked out since December due to public safety concerns.

If the 7 train had to be evacuated, the board argues, there would be a lot of people crammed into the space below the station as they tried to exit.

“They would have to navigate through the vendors…and at one point there were 4 or 5 vendors there,” said Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, in December. “This is an issue of public safety.”

Many residents, however, want the vendors back. At a recent discussion about the introduction of public plazas at the 40th and 46th Street stations many called for a small space dedicated to vendors.

Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee will be discuss the plaza program on May 27.

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29 Comments

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smells all night long

South Side Johnny the taco trucks no longer park by the arch. The haven been there for months. They have moved in front of two residential buildings at 46 south if Greenpoint Avenue. It made more sense by the arch since it is more commercial. Now residents are inundated with noise and cooking meat all night long and you can’t open windows.

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South Side Johnny

That taco truck that parks by the pet store near the arch smells awful- I believe it is tripe (Tripa and sangre are pork tripe and goat tripe – to be clear: the lining of the primary digestive organ of a pig and a goat.)

If that is so, maybe that is the “ethnic” aroma that I detect in that neighborhood?

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Smells all night long

@Ang it has nothing to do with “ethnic smells”. Maybe you are lucky and don’t have two food trucks parked in front of your building from 7pm – 5am every day so you don’t experience the same issue.

In out building residents are forced to keep their widows shut to keep out the smells from the generators and cooking food from multiple trucks.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to feel like I’m sleeping in the kitchen or next to the fryer.

Not being able to open the window and let in some air because of loitering loud drinks at the trucks and fumes of grease and such does diminish the quality of life.

Oh and by the way, I believe Wendy’s and White Castle were fined preciously for violating exhaust and smell issues. There are laws in NYC about smells. This is not an ethnic issue so don’t make it one.

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South Side Johnny

The only Connelly I know is that guy who writes those Harry Bosch novels. I ain’t in no one’s back pocket, so quit accusing me metaphorically!

I just don’t like seeing rats- between the lady who keeps dumping bird seed and this Tibetan gut illegally selling chinese dumplings, it’s a rat/pigeon paradise. Since the coppers are too comfy in their squad cars, they don’t see what I see, so I will have to deal with this myself.

Feel free to join me Saturday at 10 AM.

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mo

With the street extension along Sunnyside that opens up alot of space at the end of each block along Queens Blvd. Vendors shouldn’t set up shop under the 7 line but right on the street extensions. The rip up the streets and it looks worse than it was before. Who ordered the street extensions? They destroy the streets and take away a few parking spaces.

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Avery

South Side Jerky,
What would we do without you. Are you the whole law? You are an idiot. If you don’t like it don’t eat there. You’ll take care of it? Who died and left you in charge?
Oh, I just realized, you’re in Connelly’s back pocket. Maybe you’re Connelly in disguise.

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sunnyside

Please community be right thinks.thinking about city how many vendors there.you guys noting to do bothering vendors.i want to came back my vendors.

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South Side Johnny

If he’s there again on Saturday, I’ll take care of it. Regardless of all of the opinions being offered, he is breaking the law.

Personally, I prefer to get my food from a restaurant. Food carts do not belong under the subway, and they should be responsible for keeping the area around the cart clean. Many of these taco or halal food trucks leave big greasy stains on the sidewalk after they go home at night.

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Ang

I find it hilarious that people hate the “smells” (read: “ethnic smells”) coming from the food carts and the “fumes” from Queens Blvd…seriously, that’s one of characteristics of living in a city. For those who believe that these things are diminishing the quality of life of Sunnyside, perhaps moving to a quiet suburban town in Ohio would suit you best.

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ZERO

Community Board’s have that much actual power. It’s ‘advisory’.

Ms Gambs was right in her post.

0

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Correction

The vendor is a Tibetan immigrant and serves Tibetan food NOT Chinese food. That is like saying the Mexican food cart is serving Italian food. I had the momo (Tibetan dumplings) this weekend and it was delicious!

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John Leslie

That cart gave me the worse case of diarreah about a year ago and since then I have not eaten at any of the carts in the area. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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Anonymous

Please let the vendors back under the train far from any residential buildings.

Now there at least two food trucks selling food and attracting loiterers all night long on 46 street south of Greenpoint Avenue. The noise, the yelling drunks from the bar waiting for food, and the smells are destroying the quality of life. You can’t even sleep with an open window on a cool night.

People I know have called 311, elected representatives and the 108 and apparently nothing can be done. Rep. Van Bramer’s office had been very diligently trying to help but apparently nothing can be done.

This does not belong in front of apartment buildings all night/morning.

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Lisa

I can’t stand the fumes and the noise that these carts produce. It’s bad enough dealing with the fumes from the traffic on Queens Blvd. I’m very happy they’re gone, and I hope they never return.

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JOR

Ms. Gambs, thank you for the intelligent discussion of the issues. How about expanding your post to include references to the law and other authority which support your arguments and submit it to the Sunnyside Post for publication as an OpEd piece. I think everyone would benefit in being better informed about what’s really at issue regarding the food vendor carts.

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chicken pot pie

Safety? Evacuation? How will people safely evacuate when there are metal chairs and tables in these proposed plazas? People could easily start fights with them. Or are they bolted down? If so, then they present a serious danger for this doomsday scenario of an evacuation.

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Deborah Gambs

I find the way “The Community Board’s” perspective is represented here to be vague and assuming they are the ones who have the only say in the matter.

The post is also written as if no one is responsible for kicking out the vendors. Who kicked them out? And why specifically? What were the safety concerns? Were there any violations? If not, then why were they pushed out?

This post also makes it sound like it’s up to the Community Board to decide whether the vendors stay or not. It’s not up to them. As long as the vendor follows the laws – they have the right to be there.

And as for whether or not street vendors are unfair to other businesses, that argument makes little sense. The vendors and the permanent businesses attract different kinds of customers. If a store doesn’t have enough customers – should the Community Board be able to unilaterally get rid of another business to help that store? That’s not how a market economy works.

The vendors have the right to earn a living too.

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Well, Oil, Beef, Hooked

Conley is soooooo full of BS. He must think we’re all idiots in Sunnyside. If he truly believes a mobile food cart is more of an obstruction during an emergency subway evacuation than several large, metal “art” exhibits that are bolted to the ground, then he’s incredibly dumb as well.

Tell the truth Joe. You’re doing the bidding of the special interests who support you. It has nothing to do with safety issues.

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anonymous

the community board members are full of sh$t their “issues” with the food vendors is typical politician jargon. it’s simple, they wanted them out of there, plain and simple.

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Ari Fink

Hey Liz:

The reason that there are very few garbage cans in Sunnyside is because people in Sinnysjde are overflowing the cans with household garbage and the sanitation department’s answer is to take them away. Blame the people in the neighborhood for that not the sanitation department. Same for dog poop.

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Ang

I love how we’re not allowing food vendors due to safety concerns to remain under the 46th street station, but the board is still allowing “artists” to build a pop up gym under the 40th street station. Now that’s unnecessary, not aesthetically pleasing, and hazardous.

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Anonymous

So they can put up a whole tent under there with a massive line and that’s not a safety concern? Of course not, because that was the restaurants doing it.

Food trucks are subject to inspection, and if they fail, that vendor should go. Otherwise I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Street food is one of the things that makes NY famous!

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Joe

Someone commented there were never 4 or 5 vendors but I’ve seen fruit vendor on one side taking up like a 4 x 10 space right behind the barricade, A book/kids clothes/toy on the other side, newspaper guy, a metro guy, and a food cart in the street portion plenty of times, and sometimes a religious, menu or tax person on the opposite side. The health issue is big for me cause I’ve been to the halal cart and there were baby roaches in the salad, dude strugged it off like it was nothing. It’s dirty and grimey

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liz

Meanwhile there is like 1 garbage can every 4 blocks in Sunnyside and dog poop everywhere…. I don’t see any community board working to fix that

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Frank Daykin

There were NEVER “four or five” vendors under the 46 St station! Please Community Board, get your facts correct. And the fact that a specious claim of “evacuation” is the reason for removal is BS. Is the (planned) plaza going to be any less dangerous?

Reply

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