ask the dust

Jonathan and I were looking into getting a booth at first fridays for Phoestival to sell our cds, paintings and such…but for the last few months there has been no street vending allowed apparently due to some problems with getting street closure on Roosevelt. I got this email below which (sort of) explains the current situation.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: First Fridays Vending
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 15:18:53 -0700
From: *****>
To: Roosevelt Neighborhood


There will still be no street vending nor street closure in October for First Friday.

We have been working very closely with the Mayor’s Office, PPD and local private property owners in Roosevelt Row through a new permitting structure that will allow us to organize Arts Market hubs (like a Farmer’s Market, but without the emphasis on fresh produce) on vacant lots in Roosevelt Row so we will have a sustainable, near future long term solution to the need for secured space for community events and activities including performance, arts installations, arts and crafts vending, local food/business/nonprofit tabling for occasions such as First Friday and hopefully many others, as well! We are meeting with potential sponsors to help us meet county dust proofing criteria, which is very costly but promising advances are being made at this time, and then we’ll move forward with the permitting and be up and running.

First of all, why did the city stop closing Roosevelt for First Fridays in the first place? It was great! It’s only one night a month for crying out loud, and who in their right mind would want to drive down that street when all those hordes of people are milling about.
So now the people at Roosevelt Row are trying to find vacant lots that can be used, but they will have to spend a bunch of money to meet “county dustproofing criteria,” an environmental regulation. I can think of almost nothing that would be less environmentally hazardous than people setting up folding tables and selling handmade arts and crafts, but whatever. I guess there could be a lot of dust and dirt kicked up from crowds of people walking around on a vacant lot, seriously though. It seems to me the easiest thing to do would be to go back to closing Roosevelt St. during First Fridays as it is just one street, and this would be better for everyone. Streets are closed off for endless, pointless, waste-of-money road construction projects all the time, and yet they can’t close Roosevelt for one night a month…just for a few blocks, when 10,000-20,000 people are roaming around?