aging · Community

History of Street Vending

Bertolucci’s Pizza truck just went by, hawking pizza with carne asada for $4.99. Don’t you love the industry? Making money in the pandemic.

Do you know we have a knife sharpener man? He whistles. He sharpened my mezza luna.

We used to have a fruits and vegetables man. He worked from his well-stocked truck with his wife and sometimes one or the other of his children. He always had the best cacahuates, roasted plain, no salt.

The tamale lady comes early in the mornings of a weekend, but lately she doesn’t come as regularly as before.

Before school, there are ladies on the way to who sell hot champurrados, tamales, all sorts.

There are a couple of traditional, diesel-powered ice-cream trucks that I really want to dismantle because they are selling some really horrible ersatz.

There’s a paleta man, a couple of corn sellers, the bicycle rider with the some stuff I don’t even know what it is.

They all come through with varying degrees of PPE, at least a mask.

Long live our tradition of street vending.

2 thoughts on “History of Street Vending

  1. The icey-icey sellers, the corn sellers, the tamale lady. Most of them are pushcart vendors. Bertolucci’s comes round in a panel van that must have a warming oven in it because he sells hot pizza. The area is unincorporated, so a lot of things go on here that do not happen in the city proper. I grew up with the Helm’s Bakery truck bringing warm, fresh donuts; the Adohr Farms truck bringing milk; the butter and eggs man who occasionally had fresh fish (he died in Jonestown).
    My neighborhood has a very colorful vending past.

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