New Yorkers Are Up In Arms Over The Fines Piling Up Against Churro Vendors

New York City is standing awkwardly in the aftermath of its biggest city-sanctioned branding edit in decades. Even if you don't live in Big Apple, you've probably heard that the iconic "I Love NY" logo was changed to "We Love NY" this week, with a jarring graphic-design tweak to boot. "Together, 'we' can tackle [the city's] challenges and show it is the greatest city in the world," reads a statement on the "We Love NY" website

The logo's official Instagram account went into overdrive to promote the change, posting a gallery of subway shots that replace the letters "NY" with things like "getting to the track when the wait time is 1 minute." The last slide reads, "We love the churro lady," referring to the vendors who sell warm cinnamon-sugar-coated churros to hungry subterranean commuters. There's just one problem: the city has a reputation for issuing fines and arrests to people who sell snacks in the subway. 

Churro vendors are still getting fined

"Please return the $1,000 fines issued to churro ladies," reads the first comment on the "We Love NY" Instagram post that claims to "love" the subway's churro vendors. It was posted by the Street Vendor Project, a local advocacy group that educates NYC street vendors on their legal rights, helps them secure permits (which are famously thin on the ground and can cost upwards of $25,000), and shares their stories with the public. 

The accusations of hypocrisy are aimed in part at New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who's a leader behind the "We Love NY" campaign. In May of 2022, Adams took heat for defending the police officers who arrested vendor María Falcon for selling mango and kiwi in a Brooklyn subway station. "Next day, it's propane tanks being on the subway system. The next day, it's barbecuing," Adams said in a City Hall conference. If Adams and his fellow campaign backers truly "love" churro vendors, they should stop putting them in handcuffs.