Posted on August 27, 2009
Those who like their art with a hot dog--and really, who doesn’t--may have to choose between the two if they visit New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Street food vendors have been tussling with police as of late, as officers have begun to crack down on the vendors who sell food outside the entrances to the building. The skirmishes have to do largely with where the carts are positioned: Officers say the carts are too far from the curb; vendors say they lose no matter what: that if they are too far from the curb they are ticketed; if too close, they are still ticketed, but for obstructing bus and taxi stops. Also at issue are the rights of disabled veterans who operate or work at many of the carts; this policy stems from a 2007 event in which a disabled vet said a law from the 1800s allowed him to operate in areas that might not be available to others. The city says only one vendor can operate in front of the Met at a time; but on any given day the Museum is open, four or five or sometimes more carts can be seen. (Earlier in the month, a vendor was evicted for failing to pay the extremely steep rent for renting a space for a cart in front of the Museum—estimates say rent can be as high as $50,000+ a month.) So grab your hot dog now, if you must—or you may have to face the Renaissance without a snack.