Bloomberg’s plans to drastically slash the numbers of art vendors in Central Park, Union Square, Battery Park and the High Line from 300 to 81 have been partially thwarted by artists’ protests, but they’re still cutting them down to 140.
The City Council is “totally, completely agnostic on what is art” but does try to make a distinction between vendors of “expressive matter” (art, no permit needed) and mass-produced tourist crap peddlers. The two groups that make public park vending their livelihood are in conflict with each other.
Additional areas will be opened for vendors near the MET. Another questionable solution: 40 more first come first serve spaces will be opened at the Greenmarket in Union Square, so vendors will be battling it out for space for their paintings and Soviet propaganda t-shirts between cantaloupes and sourdough bread.
The changes go in effect next month.