Sour Puss

Permits Required for Lemonade Stand

License and registration, please…for a lemonade stand? Looks that way. Ten-year-old Clementine Lee was fined $50 by the New York Parks Department for selling lemonade on a sidewalk without a permit. “It was such a hot day I figured people would want a cold drink,” Lee said of her entrepreneurial inspiration. But she only sold 10 glasses of lemonade before Parks officials shut down her operation. “They approached us nonchalantly but then surrounded us," said Lee’s father, who was manning the stand with his daughter. "They were very hostile as soon as they approached, saying 'Where's your permit? Where's your permit?’” The Lees didn’t have a permit to sell Clementine’s lemonade on Parks Dept. property, and were issued a summons for selling food without a license—a maximum fine of $200. "I think they should let people sell lemonade out here,” said Clementine. “We weren't hurting anyone.” And it looks like New York Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe agrees, as he’s announced that Lee’s ticket would be revoked. In his apology, Benepe said, "We're going to make lemonade out of lemons…I look forward to buying lemonade from her if I pass by.”