FOOD TRUCKS:AN URBAN SIMULATOR
Critic : Cassim Shephard Elective : Narrative Urbanism Individual Project
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
-Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American cities
Just as Jane Jacobs describes the importance of activating the streets of any city in her book ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’, one of the most important catalysts in activating the streets of New York are its food trucks. This short documentary examines the effects of food trucks on our urban environment, while studying in depth a particularly prominent food truck in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The documentary begins by taking some initial footage of streets in New York, then zooms into the area of the specific food truck in question. The street is surveyed prior to the insertion of the food truck in that specific context. It then documents the transformation of the city street upon the inclusion of the food truck, how it attracts more people over a course of about 10 minutes. It facilitates convenience for New Yorkers who wish to grab a quick bite without having to wait in a restaurant line., while at the same time providing for a condition of social interaction on the streets. The relevance of these food trucks is further investigated by cataloging the decoration and treatment of food trucks as an object in itself that animates the streets by its sheer presence and an impressionistic approach.