Hot dog vendors to be evicted from Washington Square Park

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 1.02.05 PM
Credit: @VendorPower on Twitter

If you find yourself craving a hot dog in Washington Square Park come New Year’s Day, you may have to look elsewhere.

A private conservancy group intent on replacing “unsightly” hot dog stands with higher-end food options has succeeded in convincing the Parks Department to ban purveyors of frankfurters from the space starting Jan. 1.

Several dozen food vendors and residents gathered in the park on Sunday to protest what they called the “privatization of public spaces.”

“We call on Mayor de Blasio, who attended New York University, Inc., to halt private, corporate and real estate interests from digging their claws deeper into Washington Square Park,” the group’s Facebook event description said.

The event was a group effort organized by the Street Vendor Project and community members mobilized by Cathryn Swan, the scribe behind the Washington Square Park Blog. The hyperlocal site was the first to break the story about the efforts of the recently incorporated conservancy, which Swan describes as “a private, affluent group of women being given decision-making power unbeknownst to the public.”

“Cathryn published it on her blog and then we said let’s do something about it, so she brought some people from the neighborhood and we brought some of our members,” said Sean Basinski, the Street Vendor Project’s founder. ”We’re going to keep up the pressure until the parks department lets these people stay.”

Several immigrant vendors protested the eviction with placards in English, Arabic and Spanish. Other activists brandished signs with a message for the Parks Department: “Don’t be a weenie!”

“I will miss this spot,” 35-year-old Moon Mohammad, who has sold hot dogs in the park for three years, told the New York Post last week. “If I move outside the park, I’ll make hundreds less [a week]. It affects my business.”

The Washington Square Park Conservancy, whose board of directors includes celebrity chef Mario Batali, describes itself as “not for profit organization working with the New York City Parks Department and neighborhood groups to ensure that Washington Square Park continues as a diverse and historical urban green space through engaging volunteers and raising funds to keep the park clean, safe and beautiful.”

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…