November 24, 2015 / Brooklyn news / Downtown / Brooklyn Is Angry

Brooklyn Law School shrubbery could hedge out street vendors

Hedged out! Law school shrubbery could displace Joralemon St. vendors

Uprooted: Vendors Nelia Williams and Paula Tirado may be forced to find a new location if Brooklyn Law School installs its proposed planters on Joralemon Street.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about being uprooted!

Vendors who hawk their wares in front of Downtown’s Brooklyn Law School fear the institution’s plan to install large planters on the sidewalk around its building at Joralemon and Adams streets will kick them to the curb.

“They want to put plants in our spots, what are we going to do?” said Bedford-Stuvesant resident Paula Tirado, who has been selling digital video discs on Joralemon Street near Boerum Place for 12 years.

The law school has applied to the Department of Transportation to place 10 box-like containers filled with evergreen boxwood shrubs along the Joralemon Street and Boerum Place pavement. The vegetation, which the school says it wants to install as part of its efforts to “beautify” the area, would stand at 5-foot-9 and span just over nine square feet, according to its plans.

But the proposed site is also a hub of local peddlers, who line the pavement selling kids’ books, compact discs, clothing, fruit, and other goods to Downtowners on the go.

The vendors’ licenses aren’t tied to any specific location — unlike hot dog and halal carts — but Tirado says all the prime locations Downtown are already taken, so she couldn’t simply move down the street if the bushes push her out.

“There’s no spots, it’s all full,” said Tirado, who says she works 12 hours a day and makes around $150.

A spokesman from the law school said it was unaware vendors are already in the plots it wants to install the planters.

Community Board 2 voted to approve the planters earlier this month, though locals also had concerns with the plan — members worry the hedges would block views of traffic and that pedestrians would use the giant flower pots as trash cans.

The exact location of the planters is still being hammered out — the school nominated locations for 13 bramble buckets, but the city will only allow 10. The community board wants to nix ones closest to the corner, and the transportation agency will decide its preference on Tuesday.

If the two parties agree, the department will decide whether to green-light the greenery. But the vendors say they won’t just sit back and allow the prospective planters to muscle in on their workplaces.

“We’ll fight it,” said Nelia Williams, who moved to Brooklyn from Trinidad and Tobago 20 years ago and has been selling books on Joralemon Street ever since. “This is our livelihood, we need to work.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jack from Bay Ridge says:
These planters sound beautiful, I'm really excited to see them. Will also be happy to see those whiney street peddlers moved as well.
Nov. 24, 2015, 8:19 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Hey, Jack. Where is your compassion? The working poor are whiners? This type of attitude is good for no one.
Nov. 24, 2015, 9:14 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
This is terrible news. First off the Halalish cart has the best chicken and rice in NYC. And they there is the watch repairman. $15 fixes pretty much any watch. I had a whole movement replaced for $20
Nov. 24, 2015, 1:35 pm
SS from Brooklyn says:
See Jack showing off white privilege.
Nov. 24, 2015, 1:52 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Why doesn't the law school put the planters on their own property? There is plenty of space at the front of the school.
Nov. 24, 2015, 2:32 pm
SS from Brooklyn says:
Would you white people please shut up!!???
God I hate whites!!!
Nov. 24, 2015, 3:05 pm
Jack from Bay Ridge says:
SO you are an ignorant moron
Nov. 24, 2015, 6:37 pm
admin from west houston says:
How many of these trinket sellers are unemployed brooklyn law school grads?
Nov. 24, 2015, 8:35 pm
Chris from Bay Ridge says:
So true admin
Nov. 24, 2015, 9:59 pm
Bklyn observer from Bay ridge . says:
Hey folks lighten up , give these working people a break they are out there in snow and freezing cold and they actually serve a good purpose ,these planters will probably die and be unkempt and im sure that some people will just drop their garbage off in them , and while im on the subject of Brooklyn law school , i remember quite well that after the tension caused by the o j Simpson trial the law school put up 12 foot iron fences all around , just in case due process failed and the rioters tried to storm the school ,so much for a sense of community and belief in civil law . .. .
Nov. 24, 2015, 10:51 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Some of those vendors sold unlicensed copies of feature films (theater bootlegs). I will be glad to see them go.
Nov. 25, 2015, 12:16 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Youz still don't get it, do youz? ... We're cleaning up Brooklyn. You don't want chicken carts and bootleg hip hop in the middle of a downtown plaza. Sugn! The whole idea is to make the whole of downtown Brooklyn into a real government and financial district, not some dump where you go to pay a parking ticket or pick up yer food stamps. Gotta see the whole picture here folks.
Nov. 25, 2015, 12:37 pm
Maria Roca from Sunset Park says:
Don't you mean gentrifying except now it's not by race it's by wealth
Nov. 25, 2015, 9:40 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
To clarify, I only want to see the vendors who sell illegal products gone. Selling unlicensed IP does f--k people over. I worked for a home media label for 16 years, and the day we had to let some staff go because our sales to return ratios were just too terrible, I saw some guy on the street selling straight up copies of some of our titles. If you are selling legal things then I think you should be abler to sell them, so long as you are not blocking the actual traffic on the sidewalk, and I don't see than happening in that area.
Nov. 29, 2015, 12:30 am

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