Wanna Push Street Meat? It'll Cost You

Street vendors in New York are a different breed. They stand in a cloud of schawarma-scented smoke, battle the seasons and handle both raw meat and money with their bare hands. Some of them will even pay hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for the right to park their carts and feed the masses. Yahoo reports that the Parks Department opened bidding on 10 prime locations in or around Central Park on Tuesday, and that the minimum bid for a spot on the corner of East 60th Street and Fifth Avenue is $176,925. All that before condiments.

Some other pricey locales include $155,400 for real estate across from the Plaza Hotel, $48,487 for a West 62nd corner and about a $94,400 to sell pretzels outside the Met, which is a steal; in 2008, a vendor bought two prime spots outside the museum for $643,000.

Many vendors bid exuberant fees thinking they'll easily recoup their investment from sales, only to go out of business shortly thereafter. The Parks Department places maximum prices on products to ensure gouging doesn't occur, and at two bucks a dog, it's difficult to make up such extraordinary overhead.

This concludes part 13 of our 55-part series... The Parks Department: Pimps with rakes?

Hot Dog Vendors Pay Top Dollar in Central Park [Yahoo!]

[ngreene@villagevoice.com / @nickgreene]


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