Street Vendor Scavenger Hunt | November 14–December 14

Registration Opens Oct 21 // Scavenger Hunt Begins Nov 14

The New York City Marathon is not for everybody. So instead of running 26 miles to raise money for a good cause, why not eat at 26 food carts?

We are kicking off a new fundraising campaign to support our friends at the Street Vendor Project and the thousands of vendors that keep NYC running. Register to participate in a citywide scavenger hunt to find the best street food and uncover stories behind the people and businesses of the vendor community. As you roam the city completing (and eating) the challenges, you can encourage others to pledge to the Street Vendor Project on your behalf, and prizes will be awarded for reaching both scavenger hunt and fundraising goals.

You can create a fundraising team to share with friends, family, and colleagues and start supporting SVP. Once you register and make a small donation, you will receive instructions for playing the scavenger hunt, which will launch on International Street Vendor Day on November 14 and run for one month.

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Capturing Food Carts with Photographer Maxwell Schiano | Episode 233

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Food carts are an iconic image of New York City that most New Yorkers pass every day. Even if they stop to enjoy their food, not many take in the beauty and visual appeal of food carts – that’s why photographer Maxwell Schiano published a 64-page zine of his photography celebrating these icons, New York City Vibe, Volume One. In this conversation, we will learn about his process and check out his stunning photos that reveal so many wonderful details about these carts and the people working inside them. We will also be joined by Carina Kauffman-Gutierrez, deputy director of the Street Vendor Project, who will update us on the current challenges vendors face in New York City.

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Street Food of the Financial District | Episode 231

Two young men are holding bowls and posing for the camera in front of a smiling street vendor on a halal food cart

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Take a virtual walk through Manhattan’s Financial District and learn about some of the food carts and food trucks that serve this neighborhood. We will check out some of our favorite spots, and talk to vendors about their food, how their businesses have fared during the pandemic, and how they are managing as the city reopens. We wish we could pass out tastings with everyone, but we will share the spots that we visit to check out on your own.

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Virtual Midtown Food Cart Tour | Episode 205

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Take a virtual walk through Midtown and learn about some of the food carts and food trucks that serve this neighborhood. We will discuss the history of street vending, the landscape of vending in the city today, and the regulations in NYC, including the impacts of a recent major reform to city law. Along the way we will check out some of our favorite spots, and talk to the vendors themselves about their food and the challenges of running a street food business. We wish we could pass out tastings with everyone, but we will share the spots that we visit to check out on your own.

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Happy Hour Non-Profit Fun-Raiser | Episode 177

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Close out 2020 with us as we celebrate all of the amazing museums, non-profits, and cultural institutions that we have featured on our virtual programs this year. We will have special guests from several different organizations that will share brief updates on their work and what they are looking forward to in 2021, including the Street Vendor Project, Think!Chinatown, Makerspace, South Street Seaport Museum, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Gowanus Dredgers, Lilac Preservation Project, Prospect Park Alliance, Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, and the Reher Center. Check out all of the non-profits that have participating in our programs this year, and please consider making a year-end donation.

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Permits and Precarity: Navigating NYC’s Street Vending Regulations | Episode 155

Street vendors rally on the steps of city hall with signs that read I love immigrant NY and Support NYC smallest businesses and Help us to serve you

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Due to the precarious nature of their business, New York City street vendors’ livelihoods are dependent on knowing and exercising their rights. In this virtual program, we will look at examples that illustrate how vendors navigate the city’s legal and regulatory environment, including the complex permitting process. We also examine how street vendors have engaged, historically and today, with the political process through collective action and advocacy, and explore how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting vendors and the industry as a whole in the current moment. We will joined by Matt Shapiro, legal director of the Street Vendor Project, who will share insights on the permitting system, as well legislation before the City Council to reform the vending system, Intro 1116.

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A Brief History of NYC Street Vending | Virtual Fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project

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Street vending has been a part of New York City’s public life for hundreds of years, often taken up by newcomers to the country and New Yorkers excluded from the formal economy, as a means of starting a small business. For this special virtual program, Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson will explore street vending history from the 19th century to today and examine how the city’s physical, culinary, artistic, and legal landscape has been shaped by vendors. We’ll also be joined for a special visit from street vendor MD Alam, calling in from his food cart Royal Grill Halal Food to share with us how his business has survived during COVID-19.

This program is fundraiser for the non-profit Street Vendor Project, a project of the Urban Justice Center, and is not part of our ongoing Virtual Program series or included in our Membership program

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A Look Back at the Vendy Awards with the Street Vendor Project’s Matt Shapiro | Episode 99

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The Vendy Awards were an annual celebration of the best street vendors in New York City hosted by the Street Vendor Project, a project of the Urban Justice Center. It was by far our favorite day of the year, full of food, friends, and a celebration of the vibrant vendor community. After 15 years, the Vendy Awards took its last bow in 2019. To look back on the previous ten years, our resident foodie Brian Hoffman will reminisce with Matt Shapiro, the Legal Director at the Street Vendor Project, about the winners, the food, and the evolution of the local street food scene during that time.

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Eating In Translation with Dave Cook | Episode 77

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Many fairs, festivals, and food bazaars, rooted in culinary traditions from all over the world, have been postponed or cancelled this spring. New York-based photojournalist Dave Cook will lead a virtual tour through all corners of the city to look at the past, and the future, of these beloved events. Since 2005 his website Eating In Translation has explored lesser-known food in the five boroughs of the city and, occasionally, farther afield. Dave’s work has also appeared in The Art of Eating; Culinary BackstreetsThe New York TimesSavoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City, and many other publications.

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Street Organizing: A Conversation with Sean Basinski | Episode 55

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We are thrilled to sit down with Sean Basinski, the founder and former director of the Street Vendor Project. Sean will walk us through his journey from law student to running a food cart in New York City to being an advocate and organizer of street vendors throughout the city. We’ll learn about the early days of the Street Vendor Project, some of their successes, and how Sean grew the organization into a strong member based advocacy group with over 2,000 members.

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