Now that it's practically summer, you don't have to walk far in Harlem to find a street vendor selling watermelon. Up the widest avenues, down the busiest cross streets, and near the most trafficked subway exits, there they are under their small white tents hawking the sweet summer treat.
Some are even worth a special trip.
Take Rich and his wife, Shavokeya. You'll find them on the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 140th Street peddling heaps of huge, green watermelon trucked in two to three times a week from a farm in Georgia.
Although it's not their farm–Rich says they are part of a group of eight vendors around Manhattan and the Bronx who work for a man who brings the fruit to the city–they're selling the melons with as much warmth and assurance as if it were.
A whole watermelon costs between $15 and $20–the prices are written directly on the fruit. Smaller pieces, covered in plastic wrap, go for $3.
Rich promises the watermelon is so sweet and delicious–it's the old-fashioned seeded kind–you'll be back to buy more soon. And if you do, you'll spot him on his corner every day from around 9am to 7pm or 8pm all summer long. (Shavokeya also works at a stand on Lenox Avenue and 116th Street.)
"Make sure to stop by later in the season," he says, already sure that the yellow watermelon that hasn't even been picked yet will be good. "It's rarer," he adds.