Mayor LaGuardia and the War on Sidewalk Christmas Tree Sellers

It’s that time of year again – we’ve had our first snow in New York City, Christmas music is playing in every shop and store, and Christmas tree stands line the sidewalks.

While most Americans buy their Christmas trees from places like hardware stores, garden centers, churches, or Wal-Mart, New Yorkers rely on a somewhat unique economy of sellers that occupy public sidewalks all over the city for one month a year. So, how did we arrive at this arrangement, and why does it persist when so much of our city’s sidewalk economy has been stamped out?>> Continue reading

Workday Lunch Rush Tours Get You Ready for the 2014 Vendys

With just a five days until the big event, we here at Turnstile Tours are celebrating the Vendy Awards and spotlighting our favorite Vendy nominees, past and present, with our Lunch Rush Tours. This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary, so these tours are a chance to get acquainted with some of the honored street food vendors of years past, as well as the 2014 class of nominees.

Each tour will feature three mini-meals, and give participants the opportunity to not only discover the great street food on their block, but also learn about the industry and the great work of the organization behind the Vendys, the Street Vendor Project. This week’s tours will be led by Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson, both of whom are experienced street food guides and have been involved with Vendy Awards planning and street vendor advocacy efforts.>> Continue reading

Heat Up Your Workday with Lunch Rush Tours!

Is your normal lunch routine boring and uninspired? Let us help you spice it up! This week, we and our friends at Midtown Lunch will be celebrating foods that Bring the Heat as part of our month-long series of lunch rush food cart tours in Midtown and the Financial District. Break out of your lunch routine and join us for a one-hour three-course strolling lunch and we’ll have you back at your desk for your afternoon meetings!

Test your tastebuds while clearing your sinuses with an assortment of spicy dishes from all over the world. Spicy food is widely reported to be good for you, in fact, capsaicin–the ingredient in chili peppers that causes that burning sensation we all know — is also reported to kill certain kinds of cancer cells and decrease cholesterol levels. And spicy foods boost the production of feel-good hormones, so head you can head back to work in a better mood!>> Continue reading

Get Your Sandwich On with Lunch Rush Tours!

Black and white photo depicting a man in a suit and black hat standing in front of a food truck that reads, "Diso's Italian Sandwich Society" and "Imported from Italy"

Sandwiches are quintessential lunchtime eats and next week we and our friends at Midtown Lunch will be celebrating this classic midday meal as part of our month-long series of lunch rush food cart tours in Midtown and the Financial District. Break out of your lunch routine and join us for a one-hour three-course strolling lunch and we’ll have you back at your desk for your afternoon meetings!

Named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who wanted to eat his meat between two pieces of bread so as not to interrupt his card-playing, sandwiches are one of the best ways to eat on the go and a favorite on the street. The tours will be led by Brian Hoffman, veteran food blogger and engaging tour guide, who truly knows and loves street food, the vendor community, and the industry as a whole.>> Continue reading

Thirty Years After Famed Show, Art Carries On At Brooklyn Army Terminal

It was supposed to rival the Armory Show, billed as “potentially the most controversial and innovative exhibition” since that groundbreaking moment in 1913.  Thirty years ago this month, “Terminal New York” opened, and 400 artists filled the abandoned space of the Brooklyn Army Terminal with a vast and riotous display of art that could hardly be contained even by the terminal’s cavernous spaces.

The show was originally conceived by Carol Waag, an artist and graphic designer for the New York City Public Development Corporation (which has since evolved into the New York City Economic Development Corporation, who now manages the site).  Built in 1918-19 as an army supply base, the military decommissioned it in 1966, and it had sat idle since 1975, when the few remaining federal government tenants left.  The City of New York bought the property in 1981, but two years later, it still lay empty and unused.  Once Waag floated the idea of the show, the PDC quickly agreed, considering it a perfect way to showcase a space they hoped to renovate and redevelop as new industrial space.>> Continue reading