New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bazaar

This is the typical NYC street fair. To the uninitiated, it looks like fun. However, after doing a few of them, they are very boring. The problem is that you see the same vendors at virtually every fair and most of them of little interest - socks, gyros, small tools, bedding, Peruvian sweaters, imported crafts,CDs, smoothies, T-Shirts, etc. The residents I know mostly ignore them - perhaps getting an occasional snack. A recent research group put it perfectly: "the fairs had lost all sense of novelty, catered too heavily to out-of-town vendors and failed to showcase the work of entrepreneurs and artists based in the five boroughs. ... The worst part is that they are uniformly bland.'' There were 367 permits issued in 2006. Over half the fairs are organized by a few companies with many of the vendors from out of town. 20 vendors held 46% of the food permits. So, unfortunately the fairs do not draw vendors from the enormous pool of creative, interesting and varied local businesses and talent - a real shame, because these fairs could be awesome. I must say however, that street fairs like this with their bazaar like atmosphere are relatively uncommon in this country, so in principal I think the concept is welcome. Street life is one of the most fascinating aspects of New York and what distinguishes it from other places. If you are willing to ply, wade and dig, some useful items can be found. Efforts are being made to changes rules which would encourage more local participation ...

15 comments:

Lucy said...

It would be so great if artists and musicians and jewelers and others who make hand made things and food participated in these, even if just half, that would be truly great and so fun for everyone...I think it's bound to happen eventually, its just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Deep fried oreos!

angela said...

This is a nicely busy photo, plenty going on.
I share your disillusionment. Fairs and markets are the same here and you see the same vendors who move from village to village all week.
Personally I prefer to buy in a shop. At least I can return the goods if something goes wrong.
Angela

Dina said...

Wow! have you EVER had a DEEP FRIED OREO??? Hey, that would be a good name for a movie!! ha ha

Brian said...

When I went through this fair, I was tempted by the deep fried Oreo. It seemed way too decadent and you couldn't buy just one or two, so I opted for zeppole (equally unhealthy).
Brian

missy said...

deep fried oreos! yum yum!! i could happily eat my way round all those stalls!
happy easter!

twilite said...

Hi brian. Here's wishing you a joyful easter...as you delight our eyes with your pics and writes. Thank you.

Abraham Lincoln said...

This really captures the event and the smells and the sounds. Nice shot Brian.

Anonymous said...

I live on this street. My apartment is visible in the photo. This part of the Village hosts I would say no less than a dozen of these fairs. They are all painfully the same. Despite the fact that they always have a pretty good pickle vendor,and the underwear vendors are cheap. I too wish they had a truer neighborhood conection. I often wonder if these fairs really have any financial benefits to the neighborhoods they invade.

The photo though does make it seem awfully jolly. This is my first comment on this site, it's brilliant. In my mind it's the "Sartorialist" blog for the street.

Eva said...

You nailed it on the head. When I first moved to NY, I enjoyed my first street fair in my hood, the 9th Avenue one. Then, it became a place not to venture through, but to maybe find a snack. After about five years, it was just a street to now avoid (if I could)...

An Honest Man said...

To the poor outsider, would someone tell me what an Oreo is?

X!ne said...

I smiled and laughed as I read this. Having been out of NYC for 1.5 years, I think I'd enjoy one of those street fairs I grew to despise. Actually I found that if you avoid them for a few years, they're a fun "novelty" if you go to just one again.

Now I want to know where they don't have Oreos. I thought it was a universal US export. It's just a simple cookie/biscuit with a cream/frosting-like filling and a chocolate cookie on the outside. Simple but tasty and fortunately (or maybe not...), they are no longer made with lard/beef fat so they can be enjoyed by vegetarians too.

susan in atl said...

An honest man:

This is an oreo cookie. It's the most popular cookie in America and has been around since 1912.

They taste SO good! I haven't bought any in the last couple of years (because I'll eat the whole package).

Did they really change the recipe? I hope they still taste as good!

Brooke said...

I always go to those things imagining it's going to be like Etsy.com in real life... but like you - I'm always let down... I thought it was just Indiana, guess it's everywhere. :(

ps-love your blog, makes me feel like I live there... which I SO badly want to do!

An Honest Man said...

x!ne - I'm in Scotland (and of advancing years), but I've never come across them - certainly not under that name.