The Brooklyn community board that covers Bay Ridge is fed up with the food vendors who clog 86th Street – all three of them. “The issue is cleanliness,” asserts the board’s District Manager Josephine Beckmann, whose husband is a police lieutenant. “It would be best to have no vending at all. It just causes problems.” So the board has unanimously urged the city’s Department of Small Business Services to banish them from the block.
Sam Aped, an allegedly “unclean” vendor of chicken, lamb and falafel, asks the Brooklyn Paper how he’ll support his family if Beckmann’s crusade succeeds, while Kawain Boston, a regular customer, vouches for the vendors because they have food “you can’t find that at McDonald’s.” Which makes one wonder whether the vague “problems” the board decries have anything to do with customers eschewing local businesses for street food. As one local restaurateur put it: “I would bomb them out if I could.”
And in other Bay Ridge food news, residents are getting together to start a food co-op in the wake of yet another supermarket closing: the Key Food on Third Avenue, which will soon be a Walgreens. The proposed co-op would be the first of its kind in the neighborhood; according to organizer Gross, this one would differ from the progressive Park Slop co-op by focusing solely on “quality food at affordable prices – there won't be any room for politics.”