Saturday, September 15, 2012

NYC Street Fair

4 weeks ago, I think on Saturday, I was in the city for some business and I stumbled upon a street fair once I came outside from the subway exit. I had about 20 minutes that I could spare walking around, so I decided to take a look and take some photos, that illustrate this street fair. Street fairs of this type are not uncommon in NYC during the warm periods of the years, and for the most part that I have noticed they are pretty much the same; with same kinds of vendors selling same kinds of merchandise. I bought nothing because I did not needed or wanted anything, even the street food, because I was not hungry at that time.

This is the 1st time that I see Mister Softee truck in NYC/Manhattan other than the ones in Union Square and the SoHo area. And right next to the truck, is a stall where they sell different popular articles of clothing from the popular brands like Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister. A gut feeling tells me that these clothes were boosted from their original company-owned retail establishments, and now they are here to be sold at the profit by the shady vendors.

Wide selection of $5.00 & up Chinese belts.

Stall with grilled meats and lemonade.

All kinds of $10 dresses from India that were probably made by cheap child labor. They claim that it is Go Green and Eco Friedly, so...yeah...

Graph tells you how to wear them.

All kinds of fashion accessory trinkets at $3.

Close-up of them.

They also have these Asian juice guys here. They seem to be at every NYC street fair, and 4 or so years ago, I caved-in and bought one of their watermelon drinks, by which I was burned: It was mostly water-ice with a bit of watermelon blended-in. For $5 it was a solid rip-off.

This is their menu up close.

Another place within the street fair that caught my eye was this choco stand.

As you can see, they got all sorts of choco-dipped fruits up for purchase. The seller dude is happy, because he charges up high prices, which in turn result in high profit margins. He even got a primed tipping jar that hangs in-between a vine of grapes and the pineapple. Even his bucket full of straws is happy about the high profit margins.

5 for $20 price point.


...and pashminas [whatever the fuck that stuff is: I don't know what it is for, but I do know that it looks like that: in a plastic bag]. It is one of the most widely-available street items in NYC.

Hippie/hipster-oriented knickknack.

2 for $10 sunglasses: way better value than whatever is sold at the boutique stores.

Same goes for the $25 and up fragrances, unless they are poorly-made counterfeits.

Shit-loads of apparel by the tote-loads.

A lot of arepas stalls were within this street fair, so I just took the photo of the 1st random stall. They all sell pretty much the same assortment of arepas and arepas related goods.

They use all kinds of ingredients here, including kidney beans that are marketed under the Chef's Quality brand. Chef's Quality has all kinds of products for commercial food establishments within it's brand. The prices of them are lesser than those from the more reputable brands, and the quality is comparable to supermarket store/private brands.

They got lots of gyros...

...and all sorts of street meat.

Big chunk of grilled lamb meat on a stick is always a nice thing to look at, and it tastes great (if done right).

Here in this stall they sell all kinds of crepes as you can see on the menu.

Above average amount of people were in line, so I guess it was popular with the crowd.

They also sold fresh-squeezed lemonade and some smoothies on the leftmost side of the stall.

Another location to buy "designer-inspired" anti-sun shades on the cheap.

A lot of people were interested in these handbags.

In this stall you can find different "handmade" soaps.

The prices as you can see are not high, but not cheap as well: pretty much affordable to a Manhattan resident or a tourist.

Another cheap shades stall. I am just intrigued about cheap shades and about the quantity of vendors that sell it.

Here you can see the product description "compare to" loophole, that lets you know that a given article is pretty much like the authentic thing, but costs much less. 

Most of the handbags stalls seemed to be popular with the people, and in this one they got a lot of text on their awning-banner. It is GG Boss, and it is 100% leather and they guarantee it...or so that they claim to. In my opinion, the most that they are made in the USA is that the imported parts of the bags were glued in the USA-based sweatshops. There are couple of Mexican and Chinese sweatshops in the Gravesend area near me. Sometime in the summer they open-up their doors for air ventilation, and if you walk by then you can see that they have sweatshop operations going inside, with bunch of sewing machine tables set-up and piles of garment components allover the place.

Another gyros stall. In this one, they have authentic-looking dude operating the grill, and by authentic-looking I mean bald, fat and profit-oriented.

They even have plate samples of some of their products that they whip-up.

Discount Cosmetics: another street vendor with questionable merchandise.

All kinds of nail polishes and girly maintenance items. Did all of these items fell off the truck?

$4, $5 and $6 prices.

Boxes full of apparel that is up for purchase to the street crowd.

Here they sell all kinds of overpriced by-the-weight spices.

Another place to buy fake shades: 1 for $9 or 2 for $15.

More of "discounted" fragrances: by the looks of the packaging, the items seems to be legit, and the crowd is interested in what is up on the table.

They got fragrances for men...

...and for women. And the kid does not gives a fuck about where the fragrances came from.

At another questionable cosmetics stall: here they have more upscale cosmetics items compared to the previous cosmetics stall.

Could make a nice gift for someone...or not.

All kinds of prices.

$1 each: if they make $0.50 profit on a single item then it cost them $0.50 or less to get it. No genuine manufacturer or it's certified distributor would resell lip gloss at such low price. This means that the goods are either fake/counterfeit or stolen.

I purchased on eBay from China "MAC" eyeshadow in similar packaging for $3.00 delivered. I knew beforehand that the stuff that I will be getting will be fake (not authentic). There is one street vendor guy in the city who usually sets-up his table within the Broadway are of SoHo and NoHo and sells the fake MAC cosmetics products. I seen him on numerous pass-by occasions, and every time I seen him, there was a solid crowd of people (most if not all women) gathered around his table of fakes. Several years ago, he used to sell fake Levi's jeans, and once I seen him on 6th Avenue, with the stretch of 23rd and 18th streets. I think that I have a pic of him pushing the fakes somewhere on one of my hard drives, if I will ever find it then I will upload it.

In this last photo, you can see one of Jack's World locations. It is small in footprint than the Herald Square Jack's, but it still has a decent variety of cheap products. Right now I am reading a book thats called Category Killers: The Retail Revolution and its Impact on Consumer Culture, and in this book on page 18th the very first discount store (E.J. Korvette, opened in 1948) in the world (and in America) is talked about, and I have some gut feeling that this store used to be in this location.

Here you can check out interesting documentary thats called The Secret World of Shoplifting. It talks about how retail theft goes on the commercial scale.

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