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State of the Street: On San Francisco's Current "Street Fad"

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled programming to bring you a special op-ed piece regarding this whole street food trend. In the last week alone, we've seen a Sexy Soup Lady and a Pie Bicycle become the latest items of local obsession. Well, Patrick Heig, editor of Citysearch, has some rather brilliant thoughts on the matter, so we've handed over the microphone to him. His words follow:

This whole street food trend is hilarious. The entrepreneurial spirit behind it is great, and there should absolutely be more street food in this city. That said, "street food" is not simply food served on the street. You can't lump in, say, a person who decides to sell plates of spaghetti from a card table out in front of his house with the legendary falafel carts in Manhattan, where a delicious meal served up in two minutes that you can eat with one hand while hailing a taxi can be had for a couple of bucks.

I'm not against street food, I'm just anti-novelty, anti-trend, and 100% pro delicious, cheap, convenient street food--real street food. The whole idea of people following a hobbyist with a cart to a secret alley where they wait an hour and half for a meal that requires a fork and a plate--which is what's happening--might be "fun," but so misses the point of what street food is supposed to be ? let's just say it would make a great topic for Stuff White People Like to explore.

It's a travesty that San Francisco has only a few hot dog stands and taco trucks and local government makes it impossible for a real street food culture to flourish here, as it does in all the world's great cities. But if we're so desperate for street food that we're willing to bestow that title on a guy selling cookies in Dolores Park, c'mon, let's not embarrass ourselves here. It's a fucking snickerdoodle. Calm down.

—Patrick Heig

[Photo: Flickr]