Forsyth Market Produce Vendors Fighting Back

Posted on: July 21st, 2011 at 6:09 am by

For the last month, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the plight of Forsyth Street fruit and vegetable vendors just below Canal.  A number of readers wrote in expressing concern over the disappearance of numerous peddlers here at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.  Authorities have already begun cracking down, issuing a barrage of tickets, some of which are for heaping mounds of trash. And just yesterday, the Urban Justice Center staged a press conference onsite, while vendors protested the crackdown.

This image has been archived or removed.

In tandem with the yesterday’s event, the Street Vendor Project subsidiary released press materials that shovel deeper into the crux of this issue.  Sean Basinski and company unearthed empirical evidence after a three-month study of the local produce market.  Apparently some 2,000 tickets have been issued in the last two years to merchants along this block.  According to the report, the aggressive enforcement of late “has driven vendors out of business, diminished themarket, and curbed access to healthy food for Chinatown residents.”  The pro-vendor organization compares the Union Street Market with the Forsyth Market, claiming the former is treated more fairly and not subject to the same surveillance.

This image has been archived or removed.

The press release includes the following history of the market:

Forsyth Street Market started in 2005, when a group of vendors were relocated from Division Street to the then-desolate, curved block along the base of the Manhattan Bridge. The vendors had gained popularity for their exceptionally low prices, which catered to ―elderly people and poor workers in the neighborhood. However, their presence had also drawn complaints from the managers of Confucius Plaza, the large housing complex nearby. After coaxing from the Mayor’s office and, finally, the construction of bollards that blocked their access to the curb
the vendors moved to Forsyth Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

You can read the full report from the Street Vendor Project below. It’s worth it:

Spoiled Report Final

Recent Stories

NYPD Shut Down Adidas 99-Cent Sneaker Stunt on the Bowery Yesterday After it Turned Violent

Police yesterday morning shut down an out-of-control Bowery pop-up selling a limited-edition sneaker collaboration between adidas and AriZona Iced Tea. The huge crowds were the collective answer to the question, what happens when you sell a rare sneaker for 99 cents? The collaboration yielded two limited-quantity styles – Yung 1 and Continental. Both were available […]

Watch this Brazen Tagger Desecrate Louis Vuitton Logo on Ludlow Street

It’s clear that the locals aren’t too thrilled with the invasive Louis Vuitton pop-up at Ludlow and Rivington Streets. And one brazen tagger proved it. Midday Wednesday, a youngster jumped onto the building’s garbage bin and quickly spray-painted over the company logo. The graffiti lasted for a couple hours before it was buffed away. As […]

Katz’s Adjacent Retail Condo Sells for Record $89M

The hot pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli costs $22.95; the ginormous commercial condo in Ben Shaoul’s luxury development next door costs $89 million. Developer Ben Shaoul reportedly sold the retail portion of the building to the AR Global affiliate New York City REIT. Stated sale price is $88.75 million, which makes it the most expensive […]

Man’s Throat Slashed in Barbershop Bloodbath on Stanton Street

A 27-year-old man was slashed inside a barbershop on Stanton Street yesterday morning. The unidentified victim was attacked at about 11:15am while inside First Choice Barbers at 156 Stanton Street. The attacker, 35-year-old Aldo Corniel, slashed the customer in the throat; a third man saved the day by bashing the assailant with a fire extinguisher. […]

Doyers Street ‘Asphalt Art’ Ahead of Chinatown Seasonal Streets Closure

The third annual “Chinatown Seasonal Streets” initiative is upon us. As part of the program, select streets are closed to traffic to create public pedestrian space. The temporary plazas are also decorated with so-called Asphalt Art. Doyers Street had been the pilot, but this year sees the inclusionof a 5,370 square-foot area of Mott Street […]