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This image has been archived or removed.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This image has been archived or removed.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This image has been archived or removed.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

With LES Gentrification at Critical Mass, the Time is Now to Pass Universal Rent Control [OP-ED]

Bob Angles, a resident living in one of the affordable units of Essex Crossing, penned the following editorial. Secondary displacement, better known as gentrification, has been creeping up and down our streets for the past decade. Yet, with the arrival of thousands of new, unregulated apartments between the Extell tower (i.e. One Manhattan Square) and […]

‘The First Time I Saw The Ramones’ at the 72 Gallery on Orchard Street

Photographer Tom Hearn spent the night of July 22, 1976 at the Acadia Ballroom in New Haven, Connecticut. Attending at the behest of friend Legs McNeil, co-founder of Punk Magazine, that was the first time he saw the Ramones play live. And he captured it on film for posterity. Now, those images are on display […]

Epstein’s Bar is Whitewashed and Rebranded as ’82 Stanton’

In other news of nightlife name changes, the rebooted Epstein’s NYC is no longer. The bar is still there, of course, but the newish ownership is now trying on a new identity. Last week, Epstein’s painted its corner facade white. A literal whitewashing of its image, perhaps to shed its skater sports vibe for something more […]

He Said, She Said: A Two-City Concert Review of the Twilight Sad

Hot off the release of their fifth album It Won/t be Like this All the Time earlier this year, Scottish outfit The Twilight Sad have been hitting the stateside tour schedule pretty hard. Maybe a little too hard – their Boston show at Sonia was nixed due to a strain on James Graham’s vocals. We […]

Kushner’s $65M Purchase of Hotel on Rivington is Tripped Up

The Kushner Companies’ multimillion-dollar purchase of the Hotel on Rivington is reportedly on shaky ground. Last November, the firm entered into contract to acquire the twenty-story glass eyesore for $65 million. Fast forward six months. According to documents filed in New York Supreme Court Tuesday morning, uncovered by The Real Deal, Kushner Companies demands that […]