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It’s been quite a month for food-truck haters!
Last week, some Park Slope business owners got their noses out of joint over the presence of mobile vendors in their rarefied climes, contending it was “beyond ignorant” for the community to support such non-rent-paying heathens.
And then yesterday, some disgruntled residents of the Upper West Side added their collective lament to the chorus, claiming that the trucks are parking hogs that spew pollutants from their tailpipes and steal business from neighborhood stores. One Gladys Bourdain told DNAinfo that the trucks make “the street look horrible,” and that “if this is the standard we’re going to live by, we might as well give up and live in a slum.” Might as well!
But the thing is, this is nothing new. Last year this time, The Daily Beast produced a listicle entitled “6 Food Trends That Should Disappear,” and ranked food trucks as no. 1. Why? Because “as they proliferate cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Austin, one has to wonder if it’s too much.” It seems our fair city was “under siege with these rolling kitchenettes”! And “every day” — every day! — new trucks were launching “with more fanfare, high-end concepts, and celebrity chefs”!
The Beast didn’t think trucks were all bad, mind you. Rickshaw Dumpling qualified as “innovative.” But on the other hand, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was “gimmicky.”
The Beast also took the opportunity to bravely proclaim that cupcakes, truffle oil, and sliders were trends that needed to die (and actually still qualified as trends in the first place). And the list was written by somebody who lives in Miami Beach, so the characterization of Rickshaw’s dumplings as “innovative” is inherently suspect. We imagine this writer wouldn’t be able to recognize a good dumpling if it danced in front of her wearing only nipple rings and a suggestive grin, just as we also imagine that hating food trucks will soon be as fashionable as hating Edison lamps or bartenders with arm garters.
But take heart, ambulatory vendors — there’s always England.