Queens Night Market Vendor Stories

Storm Garner

Learn about the Queens Night Market and hear four of its vendors describe their personal experiences of community, identity, and intersecting food cultures as new American entrepreneurs in NYC today.

This installation is a part of INTER\VIEWS: an inter\active oral history exhibition, showcasing multimedia projects and stories recorded by the 2018-2019 cohort of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program. Register here!

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Since 2015, the Queens Night Market has fed almost a million curious visitors affordable street foods from over 80 countries in a fun, open-air, family-friendly setting that can’t seem to help but foster spontaneous cross-cultural friendships among its diverse clientele. The vendors themselves are usually too busy to converse much while the market is up and running.  Here’s a chance to hear from some of  them, as new Americans, as entrepreneurs, as community members, and of course as serious food lovers.

Storm Garner comes to oral history from the film world, and to the Queens Night Market quite intimately: she befriended its founder John Wang back when the Market was no more than a notion of his, and she made its first Kickstarter video in 2015, helping propel that notion into reality. Now the two are collaborating with Queens Night Market food vendors on an immigrant chefs’ personal narrative-based cookbook derived from Storm’s oral history interviews with them.