When asked about new rules that would limit art vendors and food trucks around crowded city parks, Mayor Bloomberg seemed to have one enemy in mind: the beloved/infuriating Mr. Softee. Fran from Queens called into the Mayor's radio show this week, complaining of the incessant jingle blaring on her street until as late as 10 p.m. He told her, "We're going to go after and explain the law to this Mr. Softee." It's on.
Artist Robert Lederman filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the vendor restrictions from going into effect on July 19th, but Bloomberg said vendor crowding is starting to become a problem. "The little stand is now getting to be these enormous trucks with generators," he said. "We are moving stores into the street. And they sit there and they park and they take up parking places and they block traffic." The City Council recently proposed a bill that would revoke vending permits for trucks issued three parking tickets in a 12 month period, which is pretty common for most food trucks. The Wafels & Dinges truck owner said the bill "sounds like a Stalinist sabotage of the industry."
But Bloomberg showed little sympathy for truck vendors. He said, "You have so many vendors that they infringe on people's ability to go down the walkway and to have a quiet place to reflect and that kind of thing. Everybody else has rights too." Because the best place to relax and reflect has always been the sidewalk outside of that McDonald's on Union Square.