Now here's a switch. Instead of reporting pop culture news, I'm actually in the papers today! A story in Sunday's New York Post (online and print) explores a blog post I wrote for the Brooklyn Heights Blog last weekend in which I noted that a hot dog vendor had set up shop along Montague Street near the BH Promenade.
At the end of the post, I wrote one innocent subjective word: "Nice." At that point, the anonymous commenters on the blog tore me from limb to limb, spewing a kind of venom that makes me ashamed to live in a neighborhood that has no tolerance for anything that isn't dipped in gold... In all, 54 comments voiced their precious opinions... Read on.
Get out, dirty dogs: B’klyn cart snobbery
By KATE BRIQUELET & NATASHA VELEZ
Every hot dog has its day — except in Brooklyn Heights. Snooty weenie meanies scared off a new hot dog vendor after he’d done only a few hours of business, slamming his street meat as "disgusting food."
The brave cart-pusher parked on Montague Street near the promenade at 10:30 a.m. last Saturday. By that afternoon, so many locals had called the cops that an officer gave him a ticket and shooed him away.
"He was a nice young man trying to make a living, but in this neighborhood everything is a protest," said a longtime resident who watched the scene unfold from Montague Terrace. "He said something like, 'Well, this is life.' He packed up his belongings and left."
He hasn’t been back—but days later, anonymous neighborhood residents were still spewing their venom against him on the Brooklyn Heights Blog. "Ours is a quiet residential neighborhood," wrote Prom Gal. “This is not the place for people looking for 'street life.'"
Willow St. Neighbor chimed in: "What next? A big top? Circus animals? Clowns? Cotton Candy? What I would like to know is who authorized this? Why now?"
The reviews grew more scathing, with Heights Guy writing, "Disgusting food, served by disgusting people to disgusting people." Gerry, another wiener whiner, gloated that the red-hot seller wouldn’t be back. "This is a lot of bull," he said. "I have worked very hard to be able to afford to live on Montague Terrace and I do not need a hot dog vendor outside my window so he can make a few bucks. When and if this slob comes back, I will have him ejected—again by the NYPD."
Chuck Taylor, a blog correspondent who welcomed the vendor in a controversial online post, couldn’t believe the piping hot reaction. After all, the Heights hasn’t seen a street vendor at the end of Montague Street for years.
"People need to step back and realize nobody owns a New York City neighborhood," said Taylor, a 12-year resident of the Heights. "It is to be shared by all who call it home and all who visit. If something so minuscule as a hot dog vendor raises the ire of the neighborhood, that’s what I’d call snobbery."
Mohamed Hmidat, who owns the permit for the cart, but doesn’t sell franks himself, said his employee will steer clear of the neighborhood. "If they don’t want him there, they don’t want him there," Hmidat said. "He’ll just find a new spot."