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
icon-calendar SAT, Sep 21, 12pm
20+ street vendors, all you can eat and drink
This weekend marks the end of an era, as the Essex Street Market will be moving from the building it has occupied since 1940 into a new facility across Delancey St in the Essex Crossing development. The new Essex Market will have nearly all the same vendors as the old market, plus 15 additions, in a larger space that will be more convenient for shoppers and vendors.
The old market building had its own charms, and it represented an important period in New York City’s history, when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia fought to keep food affordable for New Yorkers and to provide indoor space for the city’s growing population of street vendors in the midst of the Great Depression. As we say goodbye to the old market, we are looking back at the history of the city’s public markets, and what happened to the rest of them. >> Continue reading
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
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For more than a decade, the Vendy Awards have been celebrating the unique – and delicious – contributions that street vendors make to this great city. The event takes place on Governors Island, where 25 of the best vendors gather for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink extravaganza. The lineup of vendors will be announced later this summer, and every year it is a great cross-section of the diverse vendor community, with categories including Best Dessert, Best Market Vendor (to acknowledge all the amazing pop-up vendors), Rookie of the Year, and the coveted Vendy Cup. All proceeds from the event benefit the Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for vendors, a project of the Urban Justice Center.
Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018 | Governors Island
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off yesterday, and we’re struggling to find a team to support. So we decided to turn to some of the street food and market vendors that we work with to find a substitute for the disappointing USMNT. Of the 32 squads playing in Russia, we’ve whittled it down to these 10 – notice none of them are favorites or powerhouses, just respectable teams with sizable NYC diasporas and delicious food.
One of the highlights of the 2014 World Cup was US goalkeeper Tim Howard’s performance in the first knockout game against Belgium, when he made a World Cup-record 15 saves. The US still lost, and this staggering achievement overshadowed just how spectacularly the Belgians outplayed the Americans. They are a very, very good team in a weak group that seem to have an easy path to at least the quarterfinals (sorry, England). Kevin de Bruyne absolutely smoked the US as a 22-year-old, and now he’s developed into one of the world’s best midfielders.>> Continue reading
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.
>> Read more
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.
>> Read more
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.
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