I HATE Street Fairs

I would consider voting for a mayor that had one platform, all street fairs will be banned during my administration.  I hate them. 

First of all, they create awful traffic.  Second, there is nothing that differentiates one from the other.  They all have the same food, the same vendors, the same crap.  I can understand for instance the 9th avenue street fair.  All the local vendors come out to serve up their food.  I am not a fan but do have an appreciation for the event.  Otherwise, I have no appreciation or understanding.  Also, who gives out all those permits?  Does anyone in the local Government consider the traffic, noise and congestion ramifications?

Today, after a nice weekend with Emily and her 3 pals, we drive back into the city from the ends of Long Island.  No traffic, per se.  It was a nice easy drive.  All of a sudden as we are about to come over the LIE to the Midtown tunnel – I’d say we were about a mile from the tunnel – there is a wall of cars.  Why?  Crawling is an understatement.  It takes us 45 minutes from there to get through the midtown tunnel on a Sunday afternoon.  I dawns on me as we come through the tunnel that there must be a street fair.  Sure enough.  We make a right down second avenue and there it is.  2nd avenue between 23rd and 34th has a street fair.  What a stupid location, any day.  It affects the flow of traffic getting in and out of the city.  You would think someone would give that thought.  Obviously not.

I ban street fairs.  I won’t even buy our kids a drink if we are passing one.  They go under the category of city pests like rats, pigeons and cockroaches.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Dave

    Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Ben

    Or you could just NOT go to the Hamptons.

  3. scott

    i totally agree.

    also declared illegal in manhattan under my administration: dogs and non-commercial vehicles.

  4. I'm Annoyed

    Traffic was from the Israeli Day parade on 5th Avenue. Street fairs do not cause that much traffic disruption. Get a clue.

  5. ninja please

    I hate street fairs too but they’re here for whatever reason. the bigger problem is: too many cars. take public transportation or just deal. I’m going to vote for any administration that bans cars.

  6. Goebbels

    why don’t you just ban strolls in the park, stopping to smell the flowers, and loving life while your at it.

  7. ura crybaby

    oh, boo hoo, traffic was terrible on sunday, boo hoo hoo. i hate it when people comes out and walks around and buys things and has a good time boo hoo whoa is me! why doesnt the city just ban parks and open more avenues and while theyre at it they should only allow drive-thru events with no vendors, yeah! street fairs. and dogs. and people with kids. yeah.

  8. Brian

    Seriously, do you want some cheese to go with your whine? Look at you, having the luxury of a free weekend and being able to spend it with people you care about. Your “hellacious” commute cut into a whopping 45 minutes of your downtime – oh, the horror! You probably had to sit in a car with A/C and a stereo, poor thing.


    How dare the peons enjoy some “low class” entertainment. How do you cope with being ***so*** superior to everyone else around you?

  9. over it

    personally i think new york sucks

  10. d

    I actually call them “crap fairs.” Socks and large canisters of spices plus fried food do not a street fair make.

  11. Wayne Anderman

    My wife and I had the luxury of spending a weekend in NYC at her brothers townhouse on Perry Street in the Village. Our flight out of Laguardia was at 2 PM. When we arrived on Thursday we took notice of signs in every subway station we hit practically between Christopher and 86th of the Israeli
    Day parade and planned our exodus to 495 and 298 accordingly. We have lived in Manhattan, the Bay Area (SF), L.A. and South Florida. Considerig the “parking lots” that most people not living in the core centers of any city must deal with in a daily career long commute, don’t sweat the small stuff. And really it is all smal stuff. By the way, love your restaraunt reviews…we just did Aquavit for the first time since their move between Madison and Park on 55th, high honors for the Chefs Tasting Menu…

  12. Dan DeLuca

    Well, if you want smooth-flowing traffic, you should be living in Jacksonville, Des Moines, or really just about anywhere else in the US besides NYC. We live here for the public life — i.e. being out on the street with the rest of humanity. And street fairs, lame as they are, bring lots of people together out in public. And that is fantastic, something to be cherished, not scoffed at.

  13. Tom

    Brian, relax. I don’t know where you got all that garbage about class commentary, but it wasn’t in the post you’re commenting on.

    GG: “I don’t like the traffic that street fairs cause.”
    Brian: “You think you’re better than me!”

    Get some therapy, or at least a few more beers.

  14. Darrin

    ” why don’t you just ban strolls in the park, stopping to smell the flowers, and loving life while your at it.” The problem is, these “fairs” prevent us from doing things like tstrolling, smelling anything other than greasy sausages. As for loving life, I can do that just fine without three people selling designer knock-offs and tube socks on every block, thank you. The annual street fair on my street costs me about $4000 in lost revenue every year, plus the expense of hiring a security guard to keep the underaged kids and shoplifters out. Real fun, huh? If you really, really like street fairs, why not move to the suburbs and shop at WalMart. It’s just like a street fair every day, and they’ll even sell you a card to get in so you can show it to all your friends!

  15. anon

    Street fairs are digusting and I agree with the bloggers views there. But this bloggers overall views are still otherwise very disconnected from most peoples everyday reality.

  16. I Heart Streetfairs

    I love the fact that people hate the streetfairs cause they affect their traffic patterns. U might as well blame the corealis effect or global warming. Street Fairs do suck if you’re Darrin who has to live next to one. But to me, who sees street fairs as the only time I can eat Kielbasas and down a beer without feeling guilty and see all the hot sluttie chicks in skimpy outfits, it’s a godsend. STREETFAIRS FOREVER!!!

  17. Brian


    Finish the quote if you want to make your point.

    GG: “I don’t like the traffic that street fairs cause [it happened to cut into my personal recreation time on one occasion therefore they should be banned].”

    Brian: “You’re absolutely right. They probably forgot that you own New York City – how dare that horrible street fair cause YOU (of all people!) any inconvenience. Don’t these people realize that the street fairs are just as horrible as rats and cockroaches? Oh, right they don’t, since anyone meeting the GG standard wouldn’t be caught dead at such a tack-fest. God forbid someone else 1) try to earn a living, or 2) enjoy a day out with their family and friends.

  18. Dave

    Actually, I’ve been thinking about how to improve the street fairs for some time. Street fairs are great for wandering, even when you know it’s all the same sock vendors, etc. They mess up traffic terribly, but you can go pray at the altar of Robert Moses if you think that’s a reason for cancellation. One flaw is that fairs completely ignore and sometimes hurt local merchants. I would propose reversing their orientation, so that the stalls backed onto one another and faced the permanent storefronts. This would give people a chance to shop both at once without taking away any of the fun.

  19. Bird

    If you people truly need an example of street fairs that include local businesses, try coming to Brooklyn’s sometime. Really. Our local shops, community groups, musicians etc. set up and do their thing, and it’s much more interesting than the generic Manhattan ones.

  20. Charlie Cookz

    Street fairs are gross. Someone wrote boo hoo about the traffic. Hello, how about the street pollution at the worst time of the year? Get a clue pal. They sell crap, they smell like crap and the only benefit is a few bucks in the pockets of sleazy organizers. Good for you GG.

  21. Pablo Gersberg

    Hello all –

    I am actually considering running for mayor on a few key items that will make life easier for the majority of New Yorkers:
    1) No street fairs – street fairs served a purpose when they featured local vendors. Now it’s the same vendors no matter where the fair takes place. The Ninth Avenue Association’s International Food festival is the one example that comes to mind. You can get your cheap underwear and socks elsewhere.
    2) Reduce the number of parades. The World Cup is every four years. Why not do parades every so many years as well? They will be more significant and reduce the number of parades per year.
    3) New driving regulations: Cars with tags ending on an even number drive on certain days, tags ending with an odd number on the others. Statistically it cuts down private vehicles on the streets by 50%.
    4) FREE PARKING FOR MOPEDS AND BIKES. Every major city in Europe has them. Why not in NYC?
    The city is congested enough, and it will help our environment.

    Any comments welcome at:
    [email protected]

  22. car_hog

    All of the comments you made about hating street fairs could be essentially applied to you and your car and why you should suck it up. Let’s see how cars are like street fairs:

    1) They cause traffic
    2) Can’t differentiate them
    3) Does the local government consider traffic, noise and congestion?
    4) They affect the flow of normal traffic.

    By the way sweetie, traffic and congestion are the same thing. Next time you take your weekend trip to the Hamptons you should take a bus, stay there longer, and might want to learn some English from the other uppity folks.

  23. The Scientist

    I hate the street fairs, however, no more laws! Send all the laws back to commie land china!!

  24. akr

    How would we ever live without

    Mozeppa (cheese in cornbread cake)
    Sausage & Peppers (in a greasy roll)
    Oooh la la – Crepes (both savory & sweet)
    Zeppole’s (fried dough!)
    Fresh! Lemonade
    Juicy Smoothies
    Gyro on a stick!

  25. Steve

    As a New Yorker without a car, I gotta agree whole-heartedly — the street fairs have got to go.

    First, they’re completely useless. They’re filled with vendors selling cheap socks, crappy dance music CD compilations, and those awful $5 backrub stands with people who harass you as you walk by.

    Second, they seem to pop up in front of my office building every single weekend. Listen, I’m not happy when I have to spend the day in the office on a Saturday or a Sunday. I’m even less happy when I need to fight through a crowd just to get into the office, and then have to hear the music they’re blasting through my office window all day long.

    Third, they kill traffic. Even though I don’t have a car, they make taking a cab impossible. A simple $5 cab ride becomes $10 or more because so many streets are closed. A couple of weeks ago they shut down both Park Avenue and 3rd Avenue below 23rd street at the same time. That was AWESOME for trying to get uptown in a cab.

    I like zeppoles as much as the next guy, but these fairs need to go.

  26. Robert Falco

    I and many others would gladly pay the city $100 per year to make up for the lost revenue if they did away with these street fairs.