Maxwell Schiano’s New York City Vibe, volume One: “A Photo Zine Celebrating NYC Food Carts” is exactly what it says on the tin: a so-called “perfect bound” collection of photographs of food carts in New York City.

I don’t have much to say about this zine… It is what it says it is, and does what it claims. Shiano donated proceeds to the Street Vendor Project, a sort of union for street vendors. And they need it: many/most are operated by immigrants trying to gain a foothold in American society, and street vendors were hit hard during the pandemic.

In the few times I’ve been to New York, I was warned off of eating anything from the carts. I don’t know why: many carts operators are Muslims and many sell halal (or at least kosher) hot dogs and gyros and schwarma, not to mention the delicious soft pretzels that I was very specifically warned against multiple times, but that I enjoyed multiple times nonetheless, and with no ill effects.

The photographs are all well composed. Some come in series. Most were taken at night or in deep shadow; many have crowds of people walking past or hovering around; the vast majority feature that yellow and blue Sabrett umbrellas; some feature the vendor giving a thumb’s up.

Unrated, but it’s good, and remains available.

Schiano is a freelance videographer with some credits to his name, and his website is worth a look. It’s a bit strange that there is no obvious link from his website to the New York City Vibe site, beyond a couple of social links, but I guess maybe it’s important to keep your personal work away from your professional side? I know I do, but, then, I’m a low-level manager and researcher for a big financial services company, and so it’s easy to keep that separate from my photography and photobook hobbies…

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