It’s a sad time for the locals here in New York City.
Skyscrapers upstaging views, gentrification is still a thing, and street fairs continue to get watered down like those overpriced mimosas you get by the pitcher at brunch.
However, NYC's Mayor, Bill De Blasio, is at least working on preserving the local flavor in street fairs.
Gothamist reported that ol’ Billy D. B. will attempt to keep the ‘street’ in ‘street fair’. He’ll also try to keep the ‘fair’ in street ‘fair,’ only we mean that in a sense of balance.
De Blasio’s putting an option on the table to mandate that 50% of street fair vendors come from the community board where the street fair’s going down.
We hear there’s something of a monopoly on the street fair business, at least in the concessions. So De Blasio’s really aiming to keep things legit (and not blandified) with these essential NYC events.
This has received some criticism, specifically from Jonathan Bowles of the Center for an Urban Future, who notes that reforming street fairs should be with giving people "the opportunity to sample a variety of food and merchandise vendors, including ones that are outside of their typical set of options," in mind.
He also observes that "the most interesting street fairs will be the ones that bring in a diverse mix of vendors from all over the city, not just those from each community."
De Blasio is also interested in establishing an annual cap on the number of fairs that take place in Manhattan, 100, and every community board would only be allowed to host, at the max, 20.
Since the funds that the city earns from vendor permits are pretty much cancelled out by the costs of police overtime during street fairs, the city would still keep a cap of 200 fairs per year but this would in effect, more evenly distribute them throughout the boroughs.
Across the board, we’re cool with that. Just keep serving up the local noms and no one gets hurt.[via Gothamist]