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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…