NYC Street Food Vendors: ‘We’re Not Hurting Anyone’

María Falcon has been a street vendor in New York Town for 14 many years. All through the summer season she sells mangos and other fruit to commuters passing as a result of Broadway Junction. Throughout the winter season, it’s churros. Late last thirty day period, Falcon was arrested by the NYPD as element of a crackdown of alleged excellent-of-lifetime violations by the [Eric] Adams administration. She was brought to the NYPD station in handcuffs, and then strip-searched, though all of her possessions had been wrecked. She was released a several several hours afterwards with a summons.

“I would get hassled by the law enforcement, at times they would toss out all my solutions, but I had to battle for my daughters.”

Falcon suggests that she sells fruit in the subway station out of requirement. Following a video of her arrest, taken by her daughter, went viral over the weekend, Mayor Adams explained to reporters that New Yorkers will have to “follow the principles,” and that persons could start “barbecuing on the subway process,” if sellers like Falcon weren’t criminalized.

Hell Gate spoke in Spanish with Falcon by mobile phone on Monday night time. The job interview has been translated and edited for clarity.

When did you occur to New York? And why did you migrate to the United States?

María Falcon, with her mango cart. (Photograph courtesy of María Falcon)

I arrived in September of 2007. I’m from Ecuador. The fact is that I arrived to get the job done and combat for my lifetime. Back house, I was suffering from incredible poverty. We had practically nothing. My husband, he left me—and we had two daughters. I experienced to migrate. If you worked all day in my place, you’d make about $5 a day. My two daughters essential to take in, desired dresses. We experienced to arrive to the United States.

One particular of my daughters is now 27. The other is 23. I have an additional daughter which is 13. I also have four grandchildren now.

When did you start off providing fruit on the subway?

I began in 2008, selling ice product in the avenue in Brooklyn. On Eastern Parkway, also in Prospect Park. Anywhere I could. In 2009, I started advertising fruits in the practice stations, and for the duration of the winter season I would promote churros. I would get hassled by the law enforcement, from time to time they would throw out all my products, but I had to fight for my daughters. I had to retain battling.

How significantly do you make on a good day?

On an normal day, I make in between $70 and $80. On definitely fantastic days, amongst $90 and $100.

What’s the finest section of your task?

I appreciate to be a seller mainly because I have a daughter that I have to have to acquire to college and that I have to pick up. I also have three grandchildren now that I enable take treatment of. I’m in a position to acquire them to college, then I can go function, then I can decide on them up. For that reason—the versatile hours—I’m equipped to help my children and grandchildren. A single of my daughters does not have a husband. She has a 3-year-previous and she needs to work—sometimes until eventually a few in the morning. So I have to be there for them.

What is the worst portion of your work?

When the law enforcement arrive. The other day, they took every thing. Sweets, mangoes, my cart, completely every thing. They still left me with nothing. Then I have to have to go purchase anything all over again. A cart, all the fruits, every little thing.

I want them to comprehend that we just can’t end performing, we’re not hurting everyone. I’m poor—but I do the job. I just can’t go again household to Ecuador. My loved ones requires me listed here. For this reason, I preserve functioning.