From A Walk in the Park:
On Saturday artists were allowed to sell their wares on the High Line without incident for the first time. The day before the Parks Department reversed its position which had resulted in three arrests. Their previous vending policy only permitted selling items which included designer muffins, exotic teas, coffee and gelato. Unlike the "expressive matter" vendors, commercial concessions bring in revenue to the city. The City is currently negotiating a sole source concession agreement with the Friends of the High Line (FOH) which would allow the group to keep revenue from items sold on the park property. Since its opening in the Spring, the City has allowed 29 different permitted commercial vendors on the High Line but no art vendors...
According to Mr. Lederman's account, Parks Commissioner Benepe started the meeting by apologizing for the arrests.
"Believe it or not, he said, ‘I guess we didn’t know what we were doing.’ And then he said, ‘We’d like to discuss this whole issue with you, and apologize to you for not returning your e-mails, your calls.’
“They told me, ‘We know you’re going to be going back there, and that’s not a problem, we’re not going to arrest you.’ Amazingly enough, they were very agreeable to the things I had to say, but the one thing they drew a line [saying], “That we’re not going to be able to do” — you won’t believe what it was," Mr. Lederman recalled.
“I said, ‘I would like you to write a letter that says artists have a First Amendment right to sell in the parks subject to the limitations in the Park rules.’ They said, ‘We cannot do that.’ Unbelievable. That’s already what the consent decree says and what the lawsuit says and what the laws of the City of New York say — that they wouldn’t do. It fits in with their whole agenda of trying to deny that this was a First Amendment case, which is nonsense.