November 14 is International Street Vendors Day, a global celebration first organized by StreetNet International in 2012. The purpose of this day is for all street vendors and advocacy organizations to express their solidarity and work together to support the hard-working vendors of the world. We have spent the last four years working with dozens of vendors across New York City, as well as advocacy groups like the Street Vendor Project, to not only share their amazing food and stories, but also to educate the public about issues facing street vendors and their daily challenges and triumphs.
Recently, Cindy and I had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia (as guests of the Singapore Tourism Board – in the coming weeks we will have many more posts about our time in Singapore and the connections between their sites, attractions, and history and those of our own island city), and we spent much of our time exploring the varied street vending traditions of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
We will be posting more of what we learned in the near future, but in celebration of this important day, we wanted to share a few of our favorite photos, of vendors selling everything from live birds to French baguettes, beef jerky to gasoline, and everything in between.
Click images below to view slideshow with descriptions.
See how New York City’s vendors celebrated this day by visiting the Street Vendor Project’s Facebook page (and be sure to “like” them while you’re there).
Turnstile Tours offers weekly tours of food carts and trucks year-round, every Wednesday at 12pm in Manhattan’s Financial District, and every Friday at 2pm in Midtown. These tours include tastings from six different vendors, and visitors learn about the history of vending in New York City, the rules and regulations affecting vendors, and they even have the opportunity to meet the vendors themselves and ask about what it takes to run one of these small businesses. At least 5% of all of our ticket sales goes to support the Street Vendor Project. To join us, visit our tickets and information page.
This post was authored by Andrew Gustafson.