From New York’s dueling tabloids, the Daily News and the Post, this morning brought two items about street carts, those beloved roaming vendors of pretzels, hot dogs, and chicken and rice. The first is that one midtown businessman, Bryant Park Management Corporation president Dan Biederman, wants to ban street carts from New York. His reasoning: They clog the sidewalks, they look bad, and they’re poorly regulated. “This problem is out of control,” Biederman said to Crain’s New York Business. “The carts are bigger, uglier and some of them extend to as high as 20 feet.”
What! Dirty water hot dogs are a New York institution, buddy. Heresy! Elitism! Bias against the immigrants who run the carts! That at least, was our reaction until we read this truly stomach-churning report about the sanitation conditions on some of these carts. Um, turns out that “poorly regulated” accusation? Yeah, it’s pretty accurate.