Reflections from the Vendy Awards 2011

This year, as last, the Vendy Awards held by the Street Vendor Alliance was held on Governor’s Island. The Island, rich in history, is a wonderful place to hold this grand food event. The participants for the most part change each year as new people are nominated by the residents of New York, but there are always a few who return that are critically acclaimed and therefore a welcome sight at the annual event.

Muggy weather and with threatening rain, the event went as planned. My motley crew has grown over the years and today had five. I always meet such wonderful, down to earth people at these events. I think it is mainly because street food is for the average person.  While the trucks and carts may not be considered high-end eating, the food they produce is some of the most flavorful, authentic cuisines you will find in New York City. Street food is part of the fabric of this city’s DNA. Without street food and their vendors, we would be losing a tremendous part of the character of New York City. So, going to the annual Vendy Awards is a celebration of this part of New York that silent toils and providing us the sustenance we require to get through a day/week/month/year.

This year, I focused more on the food and the people. Which is why I don’t have any pictures to share. Usually I am snapping shots of food in every way possible. Because I have become more and more interested in breaking down the flavors and uses of spices in food, I savored each stand I went to and sampled the copious amount of food they provided. I also talked with others while waiting on-line, matching stories and providing advice as to what places to check out for culinary delights. This year, I tasted Moroccan, Dominican, Jamaican, Greek, Middle Eastern, Korean, Mexican, Vegan and delightful desserts such as ice cream, shaved ice, cupcakes and various Italian/American pastries. I came away with a full stomach but most importantly a chance to say thank you to the wonderful people who continuously work hard in NYC. This is my fifth year in a row and I will continue the tradition as well as welcome others to give street food a chance. Trust me, you will be surprised in a good way.

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