08 August 2007

Street Vendor for a day in New York city.

For those who have visited any metropolis, street vendors are not new. They are part of what makes a city a city! In fact if you are new to the city, they are the ones welcoming you. I was glad that I was part of this group even if it was only for a day. My friend, lets call her Q, who is a savvy business woman wanted to set up one more mode for selling her goods. Just below her office she contacted a street vendor who put her through Karen, a licensed street vendor who agreed to put Q in the street vending business for a day.

Last weekend on saturday, we packed a folding table, our wares, and other things needed to set up our table and drove into Manhattan bright and early. We walked towards our assigned street in anticipation to meet Karen, with whom a deal had been struck . While waiting for Karen we spoke to the other vendors. An hour had passed and Karen was nowhere in sight. No response inspite of leaving a voicemail.
Determined not to go home without setting up shop Q and I negotiated with another vendor who agreed to be our licensed vendor. I was told that in order to be a street vendor one must have a license, which takes almost 10-15 years to procure. Our being a street vendor for a day could only be possible because one licensed NY vendor, lets call him X was standing in for us and we were working for him. That's how many of the street vendors operate.

We moved right over to the Battery park walkway and arranged our wares. Little did we realise that placing our goods would take one and a half hours . The tourists were pouring in. We did not have a placard big enough to see that the wares were only 5 dollars and up. And the sun was blazing upon us.

Then came the park enforcement officials and asked us to move. Our licensed vendor, lifted the table along with our nicely arranged items and moved us to another spot- this time right in front of the Bowling green station .By then the sun was beating down. Besides us there were other street vendors selling perfumes, T-shirts, caps, and other NY paraphernalia.

Hot and Humid the only thing that was selling fast was ice cold water and the ice cream which was being sold 2 blocks away. We were told that were at the wrong spot. And tourists are not interested in jewellery as much as NY paraphernalia. Each block in New York caters to specific products. bags on Canal street (near china town), funky jewellery in SOHO ( that's where we should have been), paintings near Washington square park, african masks, bags near west broadway, NY paraphernalia near all tourist spots. With not too much success we decided to leave during mid afternoon.

But come again some other time and when the weather is good we may decide to sell at the right spot this time!
Image by Smaku


Georg said...

Best wishes for next time.

Chackavak said...

Thanks a lot for your kindness & your comment in my weblog ... By the way your entry titled "Proverbs" and what you had written about books & reading is so interesting ...
Good Luck

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

A gift.


Anrosh said...

Thank You George. I need the luck.

chackavak, Thank You. I'll be back.

Blue, Thank You. Very thoughtful of you.

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