SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Springfield Police are investigating the daytime robbery of a city food cart.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney says that around 1:10 p.m. Monday, officers were called to a food cart near the corner of Belmont Avenue and White Street.
A 25-year-old woman who was working at the cart reportedly told police that a man approached and asked for some orange juice.
“The cart worker thought there was something wrong with this customer, like he was on drugs or drunk,” Delaney explains, adding that that man then pulled out what appeared to be a black semi-automatic pistol and demanded money.
The worker turned over an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect reportedly told the worker to not call police.
Delaney says that “right before he walked away, he said to the victim, ‘I’m sorry’.”
The suspect is described as a white male, between 30 and 40 years old, weighing about 190 pounds, and was 5′ 9″ tall. He has dirty blonde hair, and was last seen wearing a green-brown colored shirt and a black baseball hat.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Springfield Police Detective Bureau at (413) 787-6355 or ‘Text-A-Tip’ to CRIMES (274637) and in that message, type SOLVE and your tip.
The $65 million redesign of the plazas in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has staunched the rising tide of food carts that typically congregate at the foot of the institution’s sweeping entrance, the New York Times reported. Barricades installed last Monday have reduced the number of trucks permitted on the site to eight, from up to 20 in the period preceding the renovations. The arrangement is set to remain in place until September 9, when the plaza is scheduled to reopen.
With the highly coveted vending spots greatly diminished, vendors have been manning the carts around the clock, sleeping in the structures to avoid penalties for unattended carts, though the Times report includes an account of a recent 5am raid that saw all present have their health permits pried off by inspectors (the carts were promptly replaced by properly licensed backups brought in by the attendants’ associates).
Given the visitor volume to the museum (6 million last year) and the relative paucity of food options nearby, the location is a prime spot for the city’s food carts. Though some of the spots are leased from the city for mid-six-figures annually, other carts take advantage of a 19th-century law allowing military veterans to sell without a permit. Though some carts are owned and operated by veterans, “most of the other veterans are paid by cart owners — often as much as $200 a day — to simply be present while the cart is operating to provide legal vending status,” the Times writes.
Before the construction barriers went up last week, the glut of food carts had alarmed neighbors and the museum itself — a Met spokesman described the vendors’ “unprecedented numbers” to the Times.
“It’s not unusual to see the vendors handling flammable materials, including open containers of gasoline for their generators — not to mention the waste that is pouring out of their stands … The people who live in our neighborhood are very concerned,” Carol Kalikow, a president of the co-op board at an apartment building across the street, said.
The unfortunate state of affairs was not lost on one disabled veteran. “This is the closest a working-class guy like me will ever get to living on Fifth Avenue,” he told the Times.
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Danny Fazio, organizer of Surrey’s first Food Cart Festival, describes the event as a ’21st-century food court.’ Photo: David P. Ball.
WIN A FOOD CART PRIZE PACK
Six lucky Tyee readers will win a prize pack if they enter before midnight Monday, Aug. 4.
Grand Prizes (two winners):
- Free lunch all August at Vancouver or Surrey Food Cart Fest
- $30 in Vancity vouchers for select Farmers Markets
- A Vancity swag pack
Learn about all the prizes and enter here.
Handmade perogies. Jerk chicken. Lime jicama slaw. Vegetable curry. Spicy halal Fijian fusion. Kangaroo and crocodile dogs.
Offering a wide, tasty and occasionally eccentric array of cuisine, Surrey’s pilot food truck program is already proving a hit with locals.
Now there’s a chance to try them all. This summer, 10 of the city’s unique carts will be showcased as the Food Cart Festival opens up its second front at Holland Park every Saturday through August, starting on the ninth. (The festival’s established Vancouver version is already up and running in Olympic Village on Sundays.)
For event organizer Danny Fazio, with Arrival Productions, the popularity of food carts boils down to three key elements: “Great food, summer in the city and community.”
Events like Food Cart Fest “bring people together in a common space, kind of like a 21st-century food court,” he added.
Chris Davis started the Surrey-based Tasty Torpedo Sandwich Co. with business partner Jerry Frost. It’s one of the first 10 carts selected to launch Surrey’s pilot program, and it hopes to be part of the upcoming festival.
Davis and Frost started out big with a commissary and two food trucks, which have already been operating at events around the city. Tasty Torpedo’s nautical-themed brand involves pin-up style models distributing samples and posing for photos with people queueing up for their sandwiches (“You get bored waiting in line for food,” Davis quipped).
“Surrey is ripe,” he said. “The fun, excitement and the coolness that a food truck naturally brings is certainly a good thing for the area.”
The City of Surrey began its experiment with food carts after inquiries from one business hopeful, Old Country Pierogi.
Originally from Poland, Surrey couple Robert Hubicki and Yvonne Paczek came to Canada more than 30 years ago. The explosion of food carts in Portland and Vancouver piqued their interest, and three years ago they traveled to Oregon to study its celebrated street food program, which boasts several hundred vendors.
“It was my wife’s dream; she wanted to try it,” Hubicki said. “We decided to stick to what we know. At the time, there were no pierogi food trucks anywhere in the Lower Mainland. We thought that was something that could be popular; it turns out we were right! We have quite a following.” (Old Country Pierogi plans to be at the Surrey Food Cart Fest.)
The couple looked to Vancouver as the obvious market to launch their business. But as Surrey residents, they wanted to avoid a long and costly daily commute. Surrey’s rapid population boom and new downtown developments gave them hope that the business could work closer to home.
“We decided to grow with the city, and to grow our business here in the city of Surrey,” Hubicki said. But when he went to city hall to inquire about a business licence, he recalls having to first explain what a food truck was.
Old Country Pierogi, a Surrey-based food cart whose request helped spark the city’s pilot program, serves up Polish fare outside Surrey City Hall. Photo: submitted.
Eventually, the effort paid off. The City commissioned a wide-ranging business case to start a pilot street food program, ultimately deciding on a slightly different model than its municipal neighbour.
Instead of giving its 10 approved vendors permanent locations around the sidewalks or parking spots downtown, Surrey rotates them every three months between five high-traffic public venues chosen to minimize their impact or competition with existing restaurants.
“Having one location kind of defeats the mobile idea,” Hubicki said. “You might as well have a brick-and-mortar restaurant if you’re going to be in one place forever.”
‘It’s going to be a big deal’
For one of the financial partners of the Food Cart Festival, Surrey is a great place to expand the reach of the street food movement.
“We’re always looking for new things to do in Surrey,” said William Azaroff, director of Community Business and Development with Vancity Savings Credit Union.
Azaroff said he was thrilled to help introduce “all the benefits of food carts — micro-entrepreneurship, sustainability, local ingredients — to a whole new community, and to see how that community receives it.”
Surrey city councillor Judy Villeneuve said the program has unfolded differently from Vancouver’s partly because Surrey is “so large geographically, you don’t get the same concentration of food vendors” as in Vancouver.
“There’s interest throughout the city to have food carts,” Villeneuve said. “People are looking forward to accessing international foods in different locations.”
The Surrey Board of Trade said the initiative will “add to the vibrancy of the city, and add more food options.” But even though the new program could contribute to the city’s efforts to “make us a destination,” said CEO Anita Huberman, some entrepreneurs are nonetheless cautious.
“It does present a challenge to established businesses that have a full brick-and-mortar restaurant,” she said. “It is competition that will take business away from them. However, the two can work hand-in-hand.”
Villeneuve, on the other hand, is convinced that food carts can help traditional brick-and-mortar establishments in the long-run. Just shy of half of Surrey residents speak English as a second language, as well as many of its restaurants run by newcomers; and she believes widening the cultural array of food cart fare could expose people to new cuisines.
“When a food cart is in a location near you, you might think, ‘Why not?’” she explains. “It opens the market up to people trying a different culture’s food.”
Now that Vancouver’s program is well-established and Surrey’s is out of the gate, food truck operators are already eyeing other cities around the Lower Mainland for opportunities.
“We’re also interested in working with Abbotsford, Langley and Fort Langley to assist them with their own pilot programs,” said Tasty Torpedo’s Davis. “But our first investment is in Surrey because we believe in that program. It’s going to be a big deal.”
Starting August 9, the inaugural Surrey Food Cart Fest runs every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at Holland Park on 13428 Old Yale Rd.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Food Cart Fest continues every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. until Aug. 31, at 215 West 1st Ave.
Entry for Vancouver is $2, with free admission for Vancity and car2go members, or those who bring a non-perishable food bank donation. Surrey is free.
Read more: Food,
David P. Ball is staff reporter with The Tyee.
Street food vendors are gearing up for a massive fight over prime real estate outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Vendors consider the area to be one of the most profitable spots in New York City, but recent construction on the plaza has created limited space, and cart owners are having an all out food fight over the coveted space, according to CBS 2. Some are even camping out on the sight.
“These are vagrants. When they come out here and camp out, 15 men sleeping in a huddle, that’s vagrancy,” street vendor, Dan Rossi said
Other street vendors outside the MET are complaining that they are becoming the target of policy and health inspector harassment.
“You can go to the parks, they don’t bother you like this. It’s just because you’re on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street, that’s the real reason,” street vendor Paul Alba told CBS 2. [CBS 2] – Christopher Cameron
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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Thieves stole more than $6,000 worth of equipment from behind the popular Orlando restaurant The Smiling Bison early Tuesday morning, according to a report from Orlando Police. Co-owner Joshua Oakley knew something was wrong as soon as he pulled up to the back of the restaurant.
“Our cart is always chained up out there, and obviously it stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew it was gone right away, and there was only one possibility. I knew it had been stolen.”
The report says the thieves cut several chains and 4 locks to remove the food cart from the property, and a piece of the tail light was still laying on the ground Wednesday. Oakley says they also managed to cut two more locks and several chains in a storage area fenced in behind the eatery.
“All of our empty kegs that had been chained up, all of our propane tanks for the cart and for our smoker that had been chained up, and then our smoker itself were just gone.”
Oakley tells FOX 35 it’s business as usual inside the restaurant, but they have lost a key marketing tool and a way to make extra money by going to events.
“Everybody knows about the cart, so and it has always just had a big following, and it still is a big part of our business even though obviously the restaurant is bigger.”
Oakley is hoping someone will spot the cart and its recognizable “hot hot” sign on the side.
“We’re just really disappointed, you know? We’ve put our entire, all of our eggs into one basket being this business, and just really trying to make it work,” says Oakley. “It’s really frustrating when my partner and I have been here 100-plus hours a week for a year straight, just trying to make this place happen for our selves and for the town, and you lose a little faith in humanity I guess.”
Orlando Police are asking anyone with information to call them or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
Good morning Southeast and Southwest Portlanders!
Neighborhood news you should know about:
Love Art! Gallery in Sellwood is closing Aug. 3. Owners Ted and Ruby Madrona are eager to spend more time on their other business ventures, including winged dog carriers and art-based tiny houses.
A new food cart pod is coming to Southeast Division Street and 28th Place, courtesy of the developers behind Trifecta and the Bollywood Theaters. The pod will feature 24 vendors, including a plant nursery, vintage dress shop and produce stand.
Maxine Bernstein has more details about the fatal shooting in Woodstock Tuesday night. The victim’s name is Paul William Krekeler.
EastBurn is donating all proceeds from its grilled cheese sandwiches to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line in August. Samantha Bakall reports the benefit is an unexpected response to a crass abortion joke a customer posted on their Yelp page.
A flea market is coming to Oaks Amusement Park Friday. Janet Eastman has details about early bird shopping and admission.
Andrew Theen has a few helpful takeaways from the Draft Comprehensive Plan released this week.
The Division/Clinton Street Fair is Saturday in inner Southeast. The full day event includes a parade, vendors and live music.
The second of four summer work days for the Foster-Powell Street Tree Inventory project is Saturday. The neighborhood needs volunteers for each work day.
The Lents Street Fair is Sunday, kicking off with a parade at 12:15 p.m.
The second annual Songbird Café Block Party is Sunday in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. Find music, arts and food from noon to 7 p.m. at Southeast 66th Avenue and Belmont. Proceeds benefit Friends of Mt. Tabor Park.
A health and safety fair will be held at Elizabeth Caruthers Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 2. You’ll find live bluegrass music, health screenings, disaster planning and more.
Have an event or meeting you’d like to see included in a roundup? Or a story you think deserves coverage? Please email me! I’m always looking for story ideas. You can also follow and interact with me on Twitter at @SEPDXreporter and @SWPDXreporter.
– Melissa Binder
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Now in its second year at its location between the Cambie Street Bridge and the Olympic Village (215 West 1st Avenue), the fest takes place every Sunday until August 31 from noon to 5 p.m. A sister fest launches August 2 at Surrey’s City Hall Plaza (13450 104 Avenue, Surrey) and runs from noon to 5 p.m. every Saturday until August 30.
Situated in a massive repurposed concrete lot, Food Cart Fest Vancouver gets a whole lot of unrelenting sun and heat when the weather’s good. Fest veterans come prepared with parasols, jaunty straw hats, and plenty of sunscreen. This year there’s an artificial turf area complete with umbrellas, lounge chairs, a DJ, and Ping-Pong tables. Look out for urban gardening demos and a kids’ bouncy castle.
Of course, the main attraction is the diverse gorging that can be done, especially if you invite a gaggle of friends who aren’t possessive of their food. (Sharing is indeed caring.) On a recent visit, carts in attendance included Ze Bite (a crêpe or baguette with rosemary ham, grainy Dijon mustard, tomato sauce, and greens for $8.50), Mogu (featuring a pork katsu sandwich with house-made red miso sauce and Asian hot mustard coleslaw for $8), JJ’s Trucketeria (garlic fried rice with Filipino barbecued pork and a fried egg for $9.50), and Slavic Rolls (a pastry cylinder with a filling such as Nutella or Bavarian cream for $5.99). All trucks post a list of local ingredients they’re using.
Other food vendors were also on-site, such as the Pie Hole with its sweet and savoury pies, Delish Gluten Free Bakery, and Lukes General Store.
After much debating, we decided to start at Varinicey Pakoras with a small order ($5.50) of the original pakoras, which feature battered and deep-fried onion, ginger, carrot, kale, yam, and Swiss chard. The pakoras arrived crispy, with subtle spicing, and were especially delicious dipped in the cooling raita and sweet mango chutney. Tip: try not to dig in too quickly, lest you burn your fingers and tongue.
Fliptop Filipino Fusion Food Truck’s pulled-pork sandwich ($8) was a daunting and unwieldy tower of slow-cooked pulled pork, barbecue sauce, roasted-garlic aioli, achara (pickled green papaya and cabbage), and crispy leeks—all on a sweet pan de sal bun. Sadly, some of the tender pork hit the pavement despite our best efforts to contain it all, but overall we loved the combo of textures and ingredients.
Community Pizzeria sells Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza, baked at 900 ° F in a wood-fired oven. Frankly, we were in awe that staff could stand to be in the truck on an already blazing summer’s day. The prosciutto and arugula ($11.50) version was a refreshing choice in the heat, the fresh, peppery greens pairing well with the salty prosciutto. The crust had great char and a nice chew to it—pretty darn good for food-truck pizza.
The gargantuan lamb kebab pita ($9) from Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ was packed with organic greens, cucumber, radish, daikon, fresh mint, hummus, fig vinaigrette, harissa aioli, and zhug (Middle Eastern hot sauce). Each bite offered a zippy and crunchy mix of veggies alongside the tender ground-lamb kebab.
By that point, it was time to surrender and finish with frozen yogurt at Sweet Ride. We opted for the crowd favourite, Sweet Monkey ($8), their signature plain, tart frozen yogurt topped with Nutella, peanut butter, banana slices, Skor bits, and a Belgian Liège waffle. We weren’t fans of the froyo’s sandy texture but happily scraped off and ate the sweet goodies that accompanied it.
Our wait time at each truck ranged from five to 10 minutes, although by the time we were done, the more popular trucks, like Mom’s Grilled Cheese and Pig on the Street, had lengthy lineups. But judging by the satisfied expressions of visitors chowing down, the food at this year’s Food Cart Fest is well worth the wait. And if you can get there early and beat the crowds, even better.
Entry to Food Cart Fest Vancouver costs $2 per person, or it’s free with a nonperishable-food-item donation. (It’s also free for Vancity and Car2Go members, children under 13, and seniors over 65.) For more information, see the Food Cart Fest website.
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