Every evening, I exit work in a blind rage. No matter what I do, I just know my entire commute home will be ruined by the mere thought of the woman who occasionally stands inside the subway station, doling out delicious, gooey-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside churros to hungry passersby.
On the worst days, it can take multiple seconds to contort my entire body around her cart of warm and affordable fried-dough pastries, leaving me with only 9 minutes and 58 seconds to wait for the next train, rather than my preferred 10 minutes flat.
That’s why I’m so thankful that the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is finally taking a hardline stance against the single most important issue in this otherwise perfect city: churro ladies. On Friday, a mere four NYPD officers surrounded an unidentified woman selling churros at the Broadway Junction stop in Brooklyn. As the NYPD later stated, the woman was simply handcuffed and written a ticket as her churro cart was “invoiced” upstairs. Was she crying? Maybe. Is it possible the city has forever traumatized a woman who was simply trying to make some money to feed her family in one of the most expensive locales in the world? Sure.
But the NYPD clarified to the screeching Twitter mob that she had continued to recklessly sell sweet, sweet churros after receiving 10 summonses over six months—all the information I, a white man, need to convince myself of my own moral superiority in this matter.
Some might think the Great Churro Crackdown of 2019 is a complete waste of governmental resources when compared to smaller issues like never-ending rent increases, underfunded public schools and a racist criminal justice system. To which I ask: Where does it end then? Today, they are churros. Tomorrow, it could be carrot cake, or banana pudding, or even Tiramisu. Do we want to live in a city where those little Alison Roman shortbread cookies everyone likes are just available in exchange for money? No, we do not.
"The facts are she was there multiple times and was told multiple times that’s not a place you can be and it’s against the law and it’s creating congestion and she shouldn’t have been there,” said de Blasio, whose slogan during his 2020 presidential campaign was literally “Working People First,” which tells you all you need to know about Bill de Blasio.
Some people have wrongfully derided the NYPD’s actions Friday. State Senator Julia Salazar argued the city shouldn’t be “criminalizing someone at all for selling churros.” City Comptroller Scott Stringer said taking on churros “doesn’t make anyone safer.” City councilman Rafael Espinal claimed the cops “overreached.” “Over-policing our subways isn’t going to solve anything,” said City Council speaker Corey Johnson. “We can keep the subway safe without harming people just trying to earn a living.”
But if the woman wanted to sell churros out of her cart without legal consequences, she should have gone about it the proper way. Which, according to the New York Daily News, would have required her to simply “pay more than $10,000 on the black market to obtain” one of the city’s 4,000 permits for food carts and trucks. Does that sound so hard?
So, I say thank you to the NYPD for finally combating one of the greatest scourges in this city. Thank you to the mayor, who ended his presidential campaign to come home and make sure no churro would be sold during my evening commute. We are New Yorkers, and as such we do not want to simply arrive home tired, cold and defeated. We want to be hungry as hell too.
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