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Howís It Vending

Baltimoreís Vendors Tell You What Itís Really Like to Hock Your Wares in the Hot Sun

Name: Ibrahima Ba
Age: 27
Wares: Handbags and sunglasses
Where: Calvert Street and Wilkes Alley
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
IB: A lot of people coming out, and they take some stuff for summertime, like sunglasses. Wintertime I come out, but I donít like the winter.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
IB: If itís too hot out, people donít want to stay outside. The sunglasses never melt. Theyíre good quality.
CP: How do you stay cool?
IB: I drink a lot. I drink water, I donít drink soda or anything else, just water all the time.
Name: Stuart Miller
Age: 49
Wares: Self-proclaimed ďbest burgersĒ in Baltimore
Where: Camden Yards
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
SM: The pretty ladies making my customers happy.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
SM: The rain.
CP: How do you stay cool?
SM: We have water battles. I have plenty of ice water, and everybody stays chill.
Name: Michael Braskis
Age: 47
Wares: Fruits and vegetables
Where: 28th and Remington streets
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
MB: It feels good. Outside in the summer is nice. It gets me out of the house a little bit, but it is hard. Itís a lot of lifting and a lot of numbers.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
MB: You can be real happy once in a while, and then you can be real sad once in a while, the pressure of having to do the math and stuff. The dollar count can go up to $600 at a time.
CP: How do you stay cool?
MB: You drink a lot of water, a lot of sugar water.
Name: John Horton
Age: 33
Wares: Perfumes and essential oils
Where: Howard Street and Druid Hill Avenue
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
JH: I meet lots of people.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
JH: Not making enough money.
CP: How do you stay cool?
JH: Wear shorts and keep drinking a lot of water.
Name: David Thomas
Age: Wouldnít say
Wares: Teddy bears
Where: North Avenue and Charles Street
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
DT: The weather. Itís not cold or dealing with the negative elements you have to deal with in the wintertime, when itís cold and itís risky or when itís raining or snowing or something like that. You can always cool down in the summertime.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
DT: It gets extremely hot sometimes.
CP: How do you keep cool?
DT: Keep plenty of water in the vehicle and take layers off. You know, come out with a sweatshirt on and break down to a T-shirt.
Name: James D. Pack Sr.
Age: 40
Wares: Teddy bears, toiletries, balloons, and plants
Where: 25th Street and Greenmount Avenue
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
JP: Being out in the sun and meeting a lot of people and personalities.
CP: What is the worst thing?
JP: There is no bad, besides getting too hot.
CP: How do you keep cool?
JP: Drink a lot of water.
Name: Brenda Merritte
Age: 55
Wares: Hot dogs
Where: Pratt and Gay streets
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
BM: Meeting new people.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
BM: I donít think I have any.
CP: How do you stay cool?
BM: Stay in the shade and drink plenty of liquor-y cold drinks.
Name: Lee Patterson
Age: 50
Wares: Jewelry, incense, oils, and clothing
Where: 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
LP: All the beautiful people, smelling my man Terrenceís hot dogs, my man Steve who has my back out here, all the wonderful people who come by to sit and relax with me. The environment is so beautiful here that in the summertime this is the best place in Baltimore.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
LP: The worst thing is when it rains and when itís windy. When it rains, I have to sit home and think about what might have been.
CP: How do you stay cool?
LP: I go and get either a water or a juice from my main man here.
Name: Steven L. Walden
Age: 53
Wares: Movies on DVD and VHS
Where: Howard and Saratoga streets
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
SW: Relaxing in the natural atmosphere, getting a cool breeze.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
SW: You get real sticky.
CP: How do you stay cool?
SW: Just wear loose clothes. Try not to wear anything dark.
Name: Louie Rohme
Age: 37
Wares: Orioles paraphernalia
Where: Camden Yards
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
LR: The atmosphere.
CP: Whatís the worst thing?
LR: Rain. When it rains down here, we donít do any business at all.
CP: How do you stay cool?
LR: I relax and mellow out. Take it all in.
Name: Janet Fogle
Age: 41
Wares: Teddy bears, candy, and toiletries
Where: North and Greenmount avenues
CP: What is the best thing about vending during the summer?
JF: The people.
CP: What is the worst thing?
JF: The ignorant people.
CP: How do you stay cool?
JF: I sell water, too.

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We see vendors every day on street corners, median strips, and all around the Inner Harbor. Theyíre there morning, noon, and night, on weekends and weekdays. They sell water, hot dogs, flowers, teddy bears, clothing, and things we still arenít sure about. And they are Baltimoreís front-line authorities on beating the heat. So we scoured the streets asking vendors to share their favorite things about roadside commerce, their worst experiences, and their tricks for keeping cool even on code-red days. It turns out their advice is a lot like your momís.

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