Strolling from Tribeca to Soho to meet our friends for a late afternoon drink on Sunday, we were accosted by a MAD flock of street vendors screaming “Roless, Roless, hadbag, hadbag,” (Rolex, Rolex, handbag, handbag)! That’s all we could hear aside from the enraged honking of annoyed out-of-towners trying to get into “the tunnel” (not naming any names). “Oh dear,” I thought to myself as I started to explain to my friends (who just had moved to New York) that the situation had gone from somewhat nice and fun to INSANE ;-(. Back in the day, there were local artists mixed in with those hawking designer fakes, all selling their goods from Greene Street to Canal on Broadway. Back then, there was also an open-air market selling various pets, from snakes to hamsters. The animal market, artists, and fake designer product vendors all happily coexisted.
In recent years, due to an industry catering to brand whore tourists and guide books, the local artist have been pushed out by the vendors selling fake Prada, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Dior, and YSL bags and accessories. The aggressive vendors who hang out on the corner of Canal and Broadway with their plastic wrapped cards displaying their offerings of the day/week yell and stare, even if you only walk past them and say nothing. Even for a local, this has become rather intimidating.
Locals are overwhelmed by greedy brand whore tourists and pissed off vendors who can’t sell their fakes fast enough. At one point, I heard a vendor of fakes yell at a customer, telling her that she was “a cunt” for buying the same bag from another vendor. What?!?
Wow, this just shows you how desperate they are, as well as the fact that they have no integrity or grace. But, of course, how can they? They are selling knockoffs! However, the bigger issue is how rude these vendors have become–to the point where I’m afraid to walk past them, as I think they might snap at any minute and physically attack me. I think they’re smoking something…
Crate an indoor fake destination market that is easy for the brand whore tourists to find, and get Prada, Louis Vuitton, etc. to sponsor it (but naturally, the vendors who sign up for it won’t know this). That way, the real shit (pardon me) gets a cut of the fake sales.