Thanks to New York City’s street vendors, Candy has consumed numerous hot dogs, dumplings, biryani, crepes, bags, books, and then some. There are more than 10,000 street vendors in New York City, but selling things from a table or cart isn’t as simple as it seems. Vendors are fined $1000 for small violations, like parking their cart too far from the curb, and many vendors don’t know their rights when approached by police. The rulebook is intimidating and hard to understand by anyone, let alone someone whose first language isn’t English. As part of CUP’s Making Policy Public series, Candy collaborated with Rosten Woo and John Mangin of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Sean Basinski of The Street Vendor Project, and street vendors around NYC to develop this guide so vendors can understand their rights, avoid fines, and earn an honest living.
The Street Vendor Guide translates the most commonly violated rules into accessible diagrams. It also illustrates vendors’ rights and includes text in English, Bengali, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. The guide also serves as an educational/advocacy tool and includes a poster of facts on the history of NYC street vending, personal vendor stories, and policy reform recommendations (lift license caps, increase street access, reduce the fines, and reform administration & enforcement). Thousands of copies were distributed to street vendors for free, and the guide is available for $6 or as a free pdf on CUP’s Making Policy Public site. Candy designed the guide and enjoyed illustrating everything from hot dog carts to former mayor Ed Koch. The guide was featured in the 2010 National Design Triennial at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
2009. 32″ x 22″ fold-out poster, heavy 80 lb. Lynx Brightwhite Smooth matte paper stock. New York, NY. Produced by the Center for Urban Pedagogy.
An interesting quote Sean recently found from 1905:
“I think it would be a great advantage to all the peddlers to have a translated copy of the license issued. As it is, some of the Italians cannot understand the regulations of the road and the ordinances of the City. If it were printed in English…in Yiddish…in Greek, Italian and Syrian for the others it would prove to be a great aid to them.”
- Rev. Bernardino Polizzo, 1905, during a hearing on the pushcart menace