The Real Deal New York

East Villagers claim Halal cart devalues the neighborhood

December 29, 2013 01:00PM

 Forget bars, the East Village has a new scourge: the Halal food cart. A new falafel vendor has set up shop at East 2nd Street and Avenue A, offending locals with its smell and by drawing drunken crowds. 

The cart has only been in the neighborhood three days, but that was plenty of time for residents to start complaining.

“You’re going to attract more people on the corner while everyone is upstairs trying to sleep,” Dan Forkin, who lives above the cart’s new home, told the New York Post. “It’s already noisy to begin with. There’s already the shittiest bars on earth on this corner, so you’re already getting everyone who is obliterated here, and now you add this.”

Fliers have even begun circulating that claim the cart is “devaluing” the neighborhood. But cart owner Farouq Ortega and his wife, Maribel, are defiant, according to the Post.

“They need to understand that we’re in a free country — and we can’t please everyone,” Maribel said. “Legally, we have a right to be there — we’re not bothering anyone, and I don’t think it’s fair that we move.” [NYP]Christopher Cameron