Wednesday, May 2, 2012
the street food backlash
DNA Info reports that some people living in the tony condos there are so angry that a licensed food truck is doing business legally on their block that they've petitioned the city to install parking meters.
The Pot Luck Cafe food truck--co owned by Korean War Vet Eddie Prokopiak and his Nigerian son-in-law Joseph Okolie--has been doing business near the corner of 68th and Broadway for about year. Prokopiak was on the waiting list for a city street food vending license for a decade before getting the go-ahead to open the truck. He spent perhaps $100,000 to outfit his business.
But this lone outpost of street culture on the block has locals feeling "besieged." According to the report, "residents accuse Pot Luck Cafe of creating litter and flashing a bright neon "Open" sign in its window. They also say the truck takes up too much space and created a dangerously tight squeeze when emergency vehicles responded to an oil spill on the block last year." They also assert that the operators have refilled their generator on the street, in violation of city rules.
Prokopiak is philosophical about the residents who are moving to evict his truck. "They don't want us here," he told DNA Info last year. "It's an upscale neighborhood, supposedly, and this type of vehicle is not supposed to be here."
The parking meter proposal, meanwhile has split the block, with 18 residents opposing the idea at a recent community board meeting.
As Bob Dylan so aptly put it Subterranean Homesick Blues back in 1965: "Don't follow leaders. Watch the parking meters."
[praise b Zach C for the link]