Image of Eastern Market in D.C.
credit: Josh/ Flickr

It seems to me that most Street Sense vendors are at war with each other. Vendors are arguing about which is the best corner, or the best spot to sell papers.

When I first started selling Street Sense, vendors were assigned to a particular corner. If another vendor showed up, they would have to leave. We stopped having assigned corners about six months ago. Now vendors do not have assigned areas, so whoever gets to a corner first gets to keep it. In one recent case, a vendor was working at the corner of 7th and C streets in Eastern Market. After about two and a half hours of working, he went to the bathroom. When he returned, another vendor was working in his spot. And then the conflict began.

Since no one is assigned to a certain area, you have to make sure your spot is secure. When I sell my Street Sense papers and have to take a bathroom break, I leave an old copy of the paper in my spot, just to let other vendors know that someone is working there. I believe if you want a certain corner, you have to get there early. I start at 5:30 a.m. every morning.

Vendors should not be at war over a particular corner. So to all my fellow vendors, let’s stay together. Can’t we all just get along?