In this virtual program, Turnstile Tours founder Cindy VandenBosch examines how children’s books, novels, paintings, and postcards have depicted New York City’s street vendors, and the foods and merchandise they sell over time. From hot corn and baked pears to knishes and sweet potatoes, she will dive into vendor stories depicted in works including the 1808 book “Cries of New York,” documentation from the Works Progress Administration, and images by William Chappel (pictured), Lou Barlow, and Raymond Ewer, among others.>> Continue reading
There are as many as 20,000 street vendors in New York City, most of whom are immigrants. This program will focus on the impact of the current public health crisis on the lives and livelihoods of New York City’s street vendors, including an interview with Mohamed Attia, Executive Director of the Street Vendor Project, a membership-driven project that is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers.
Celebrate National Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 4 on a guided tour at the Brooklyn Navy Yard focused on interior design and fabrication The tour will begin with an introduction to the Yard’s story, with an emphasis on the diverse array of products, goods, and objects designed and manufactured on-site over the last two centuries. Next, visitors will walk the 30,000-square-foot factory floor of Ferra Designs, a company that specializes in custom-built architectural metalwork, and visit the studio of textile maker AVO, and speak directly to some of the craftspeople redefining manufacturing and making at the Yard today. This tour is great for anyone interested in art, design, craft, and manufacturing as well as those interested in history and the continued social and economic impact of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Metalworking and woodworking is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in New York City, but it is eclipsed by food production, processing, and packaging, which employs more than 17,000 New Yorkers. On Oct. 4 we will also be hosting a tour of de Royal Dinges Factory, a commercial kitchen and food truck commissary that produces more than 7,000 waffles daily for Wafels & Dinges, one of the most successful street food businesses in the city (and finalist at this year’s Vendy Awards). Visitors will learn how commissaries work to support the thousands of food carts and trucks around the city, walk through the production line, and even get to put their hands in some dough to make their own authentic Liège wafel.
The best day of the year is fast approaching: Saturday, September 21, 2019, the day of the 15th – and final – New York City Vendy Awards. For 15 years, the Street Vendor Project has been convening carts, trucks, and pop-ups to serve up the best street food New York City has to offer, in order to raise awareness about the plight of vendors and raise money for their vital mission. Started in 2005 with just four vendors gathered in commissary garage in the East Village, and attended by just 250 guests, the Vendys have grown into one of the city’s premiere food events, featuring two dozen vendors and 2,000+ attendees flocking to Governors Island.
This year’s competition will feature three categories instead of the usual five: Best Dessert, Best Freshman (for first-time Vendy competitors), and the All-Star Vendy Cup, featuring 15 vendors that have collectively earned 25 nominations, nine Vendy Awards, and three Vendy Cup championships, including two finalists from the first Vendys in 2005, Tony Dragon’s and NY Dosas (see the full list of 2019 nominees). The event is all-you-can-eat-and-drink, and all of the proceeds benefit the Street Vendor Project. This may be the final Vendys, but SVP will continue to support and celebrate the vendor community, so stay connected, and you can prepare for the Vendys by joining one of our Food Cart Tours.
15th Annual Vendy Awards
On April 11, the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on a package of bills affecting street vendors, most important among them a proposal that would raise the artificial cap put on the number of mobile food vendors that has been in place since 1983. For the third time in six years, we were at City Hall with the Street Vendor Project to make our voices heard.
Intro 1116 would take several steps to address the issue of black-market permit renting. While Mobile Food Vending Permits only cost $200 for two years, they can be renewed indefinitely, and there is a hard cap of 5,100 permits available. As a result, very few permits come back into circulation, and most permit holders don’t actually vend, but rent their permit to working vendors; the going rate is currently around $25,000.>> Continue reading
Traveller Australia, April 4, 2019
by Traveller Staff
SAVOUR THE FOOD CARTS OF NEW YORK
Hundreds of food carts patrol New York’s streets every day offering cheap, filling feeds with this two-hour tour visiting some of the best. Sample six dishes including Korean short ribs, Mexican quesadillas and Belgian waffles. You’ll get to meet the vendors and understand the challenges of selling food curb-side in the Big Apple.
ESSENTIALS Food Cart Tour of the Financial District, $US48. See turnstiletours.com
Gabs Photography, January 11, 2018
by Gabriela Hengeveld
When we were invited to visit New York for a story about the Bronx we got in touch with Turnstile Tours an organization providing tours to visit and eat at different Food Trucks. The organization found a way of entertaining tourist whilst at the same time having a positive social impact. Supporting local Food Truck businesses, mostly run by newly arrived Immigrants. They not only help the entrepreneurs with customers but also providing them with legal advise through a specific NGO so they can better set up their businesses.
PIX 11 News, aired November 29, 2017
by Greg Mocker
Greg Mocker of PIX 11 News not only attended our panel discussion at the Museum at Eldridge Street, which included panelists from the Street Vendor Project, 800BuyCart, Cinnamon Snail, Veronica’s Kitchen, and moderated by our own Cindy VandenBosch, he also made sure that he tried some street food from Midtown’s Royal Halal, one of our favorites.
Join us on Nov. 29 at the Museum at Eldridge Street when Cindy VandenBosch will be moderating a conversation about street vending, past and present, covering the industry’s deep roots on the Lower East Side, hearing from some of today’s most popular sidewalk chefs, and learning about the the many other players that support this industry. Panelists will include Adam Sobel of the Vendy Awards-winning kosher vegan food truck The Cinnamon Snail, Jack Beller of multigenerational food cart fabricator Worksman Cycles-800BuyCart, Lower Manhattan street vendor Veronica Julien of Veronica’s Kitchen, and attorney and advocate Matt Shapiro of the Street Vendor Project.
Traveller Australia, June 30, 2017
by Rob McFarland
“What do you think was the first food sold on the streets of New York?” asks Doug, our enthusiastic guide from Turnstile Tours. Our group stands in stony silence with furrowed brows. Everyone else is from an 18-35s Contiki tour and some of them haven’t been to bed yet after last night’s revelry. It’s a little early for quizzes.
The unexpected answer is oysters. New York once had vast oyster beds and in the early 1900s they were sold by street vendors as a low-cost snack.