Update on Manhattan Bridge Produce Vendors

Posted on: July 6th, 2011 at 11:23 am by

Two weeks ago, we first learned that the longstanding produce vendors on Forsyth Street were subjected to a city crackdown. At the time, some folks believed that the attention from a Men in Black film shoot had basically invited the authorities to this grimy nook of Chinatown. Well, thanks to an informant in the field, we now have a more concrete snapshot about the situation here beneath the Manhattan Bridge. Blame this latest enforcement on the combination of unsightly garbage pileup and bridge abutment graffiti.

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From the inbox:

Apparently local residents were complaining about the trash that piled up at night since all of the vendors are supposed to pay for private contractors to remove their trash and only a handful of them were. This got the city involved who also discovered that many of the vendors go and buy rotten fruit for a $1 a box somewhere outside of Manhattan and then come here to sell it. Then the DOT got involved and towed away all of the trucks because they all had $3-6k in parking tickets because they’re only allowed to stand for 2 hours and they were all parked there 24/7. He also said the barricades would be removed soon now that all of the graffiti under the bridge had been removed.

Produce vendors have since returned, but presumably only those who can afford private contractors to pick up the rotten refuse. That said, there’s still something suspicious about the timing of it all. Especially since a new park is currently in the works for a long-dormant section of the bridge promenade, once a shantytown dubbed “The Hill.”

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