Hot dog vendor sleeping in cart to reserve spot at MET

July 12, 2012 2:23:26 PM PDT
A disabled Vietnam Veteran is now fighting a different kind of battle.

He's now a hot dog vendor waging his own war, refusing to surrender his primo spot in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dan Rossi never thought he would have to sleep in a hot dog cart in order to stake his prized space in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the East Side.

"This is my last stand if the city does intercede and enforce its laws?I will be hear every night," he said.

For the last 7 years, Rossi and his daughter have been parking their hot dog cart early in the morning in order to grab the prime space directly in front of the Museum.

But recently other carts have tried to move into the spot and in order to hold onto the real estate he has resorted to living 24/7 in the cart.

He says it is illegal to leave it unattended overnight. On Thursday morning a health department inspector slapped him with a violation for camping out in the truck during off hours.

Rossi says it's not the first ticket. He has thousands of dollars worth of violations. But he says he is going to fight them all and win because he is in full compliance of the rules and laws.

He says he is being singled out because as a disabled Veteran he can set up shop without having to pay the city and he is being sent a message for demanding the city do a better job of regulating the other food carts.

"When the city has said more or less you are on your own?and you got to defend yourself?I am defending myself," he adds.

The mix bag of vendors outside the museum is a concern for the people who run the MET. Some pay anywhere from $70 to $200,000 a year for the right to be here.

Others are reportedly parked illegally. Enforcing the carts is an ongoing issue for the city.

Mr. Rossi says no matter what happens he is never going to give up his fight, even it means sleeping in his cart for as long as it takes.

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