Aug. 15, 2012 By Christian Murray
A vendor has set up a giant fruit stand underneath the 46th Street subway station and he has already drawn the attention of city agencies.
The fruit stand, which is stacked six feet high—with two carts rammed together—was written up by two inspectors from the Department of Consumer Affairs on Sunday. One of the inspectors looked at the vendor and said “What about all these flies?” as he pointed to the produce.
The food cart, which has been doing a brisk business, has gained the attention of Community Board 2 chairman Joe Conley, who is adamantly opposed to it. He has been trying to get rid of illegal food carts under the subway and along the streets in Sunnyside and Woodside for some time.
Conley checked in on the fruit vendor late last week and informed the Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Health that it was in violation of many city rules.
“This vendor has so many violations,” Conley said in an e-mail, adding that the size of the carts has been altered to hold more produce, and the vendor is illegally operating more than one cart.
Furthermore, the vendor is breaking the rules by being open 24/7. Food carts are required to be moved once a day for cleaning.
Conley said that he is waiting to hear back from the Department of Health and Consumer Affairs as to the violations that were issued Sunday. He said on Friday he called the NYPD and five vendors were removed between Queens Bld. and Greenpoint Ave. on 46th Street.
Conley and councilman Jimmy Van Bramer are in the midst of improving the areas under the 46th Street, 40th Street and 33rd Street subway stations. Their aim is to block food carts from entering the areas, improve lighting, add bike racks and display art work. The councilman and Conley are awaiting a plan from the Department Of Transportation.