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On Transient Retailing in NYC: Hold the Tube Socks!

[Photo via peaches20626 on Flickr]

Think tanks think up all sorts of things?you know, stuff having to do with the crisis in the Middle East and the malaria epidemic and global warming and inequality in America. And sometimes they tackle the really pressing topics, like those pesky ubiquitous summer critters that are New York's street fairs. The Center for an Urban Future is on the case, confirming what you've always suspected:

The biggest reason why New York’s street fairs are so generic is ... [they're] dominated by a handful of the same vendors selling items like tube socks, knockoff purses and gyros ... According to the Center’s analysis, a mere 20 vendors hold 46 percent of all the permits to sell food at street fairs. Seven vendors each have more than 200 food permits.What's that you say? You actually prefer your tube socks pre-scented with eau de sausage and mozzareppa?
· Rethinking New York's Street Fairs [, PDF]
· All’s Not Fair in Street Fairs, Group Claims [NYT]