220th DTES Street Market

220th DTES Street Market and 35th Street Market of 2014

Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:

It was the second day of our “juggernaut” master plan to control the vending area and to restrict vending at the market to only vendors with membership tags. We have printed out about 216 memberships so far, so there should be more than enough vendors to fill the market.

The volunteers showed up at 8am today, and the washing crew showed up a little earlier at 7:30.

We had three security guards on duty during the day, so this helped quite a bit.

In the time between 8am and 10am we actually managed to hold the perimeter. Here are a few photos…



This was an amazing achievement for our volunteers.
The only people that we let into the area before 10am were vendors with proper membership cards, or people that could prove that they lived in the DTES.

The result was a much more orderly market, and a lot of vendors that realized that we are serious about the membership system.

This will also make it a lot easier in our move to 58 West Hastings St.

Only properly registered vendors will be allowed to vend in this space, and only in areas designated with tents and tables.

It shows that with the right funding we can run a controlled market… something that the whole of Vancouver can be proud of.

This was also (hopefully) the last Sunday where the park will be cut off by fencing. We were assured that a scaffolding would be going up around the Merchant bank, and that the fence would be taken down, allowing us access again to the water tap in the grassy area.

We also signed up a record number of new vendors this Sunday. We had over 65 people show proof of residency in the DTES and get their picture taken for their membership. We are about to run out of the original batch of vendor tags that we ordered. Time to order more…

Sometimes “Cheese” just means cheese

A final funny story that I have to share happened at the market this Sunday.

Quite often we get people running around the market selling cheese. This causes problems for us for a number of reasons. 1) cheese needs to be refrigerated, so someone could be selling spoiled cheese and cause people to get sick. 2) the cheese is likely stolen, since it is frequently sold way below the cost you would see in the store. Likely cheese is a really easy thing to hide, who knows…

So, during the day, there are probably at least half a dozen radio calls about “Cheese at the Market” or “another guy spotted with Cheese”.

Sometime in the afternoon, a VPD officer walked up to our guard at the North End of Carrall St.
He was quite friendly, and asked the guard “So… what does ‘Cheese’ mean?”.

The guard didn’t know what to say, so he said “Cheese just means Cheese – you know…. people walking around with stolen cheese trying to sell it”.

We had a good laugh about this after the guard told the story. I guess it makes sense that there was a suspicion from the VPD that “Cheese” was a code word for something else like “Bread” meaning money, or “Smack” or any other euphemism for drugs. Considering that a good portion of our radio broadcasts during the day are about the “Cheese at the Market”, it would stand to reason that they would be confused.

So, after that story, just let me confirm the basic rule: “No selling cheese (and any dairy product) at the Market!”.

0 220th DTES Street Market

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