Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Roasted chestnuts citywide

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I live in NYC and I love roasted chestnuts. In fact, many people love roasted chestnuts in NYC. There's nothing better than walking along the crowded streets on a cold, wintery day holding a hot bag of chestnuts and plunging your teeth into naturally sweetened and soft chestnuts. The only problem is they're sold only in midtown Manhattan by those street vendors who sell hot dogs too. More specifically, on 5th avenue and 53rd street. That's the only place in Manhattan you can get these goodies. It's a shame more New Yorkers can't enjoy roasted chestnuts more frequently. My idea would be to somehow coax these street vendors, either through a street-vendor tax break or simply by passing a new law prohibiting the amount of roasted chestnut vendors allowed on any one given New York city street corner, downtown, in the Soho area or the Noho area, which is really the NYU area but the people who live in the shadows of NYU thought it'd sound better to out-of-towners or relatives to say, 'Oh yeah, I live in Noho,' jerks, or even in the West Village. My point is is roasted chestnuts are a blessing and should be shared. That's it.
d-eschew, Feb 08 2001

The ConvAIRCAR http://www.retrofuture.com/flyingcar.html
From 1947. [StarChaser, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

And the Curtiss Autoplane, from 1917. http://www.howstuff...s.com/curt-auto.jpg
Rather neat, actually. [StarChaser, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       I don't even like the chestnuts themselves, but I agree that there is something special about the vendors with their smoking carts in Manhattan. And the charm does seem to be specific to Manhattan, though I could imagine an entirely different kind of charm in the Basque country.
beauxeault, Feb 08 2001
  

       street vendors - good chestnuts - i dont like   

       now cashews on the other hand, roasted cashews, mmm...   

       constipation!
darth_smoothies, Feb 08 2001
  

       I'm not really into chestnuts, but you can find them all over the place here in Japan. On every city street, though? No, not even close.
Vance, Feb 13 2001
  

       [mfd] = marked for deletion. He's misremembering, though.   

       [dgeiser13], to me, a WIBNI is something that is unrealistic yet unoriginal, and the author doesn't make a credible attempt at inventing a way of accomplishing their goal. For example, "flying cars" would be a WIBNI.   

       "Self-adjusting clothes" is not a WIBNI, even though it's unrealistic and the author doesn't have a clue how it works because it's original; they're not a staple of science fiction yet, although you can find some of them.   

       This idea is also not a WIBNI, because its implementation is outlined by the author. It suggests fairly realistic measures to accomplish something minor and specific. Whether you think that's original or just kind of lame probably depends on how much you like roasted chestnuts.
jutta, Apr 09 2001
  

       Self-adjusting clothes wouldn't be incredibly difficult, anyway. The way the stuff in Back to the Future 2 worked could probably be done, although maybe not as well.   

       This idea is a little silly, but there's nothing wrong with that, and he did come up with at least the outline of a way to do it....   

       There are flying cars, actually...and were in the late '50s. And according to the page in the link, there was another in 1917. Impractical, but possible.
StarChaser, Apr 09 2001
  

       Chestnut sellers in flying cars zooming all over NY dropping little bundles of chestnuts attached to little parachutes. Ah, possibly not too popular near skyscrapers.
pottedstu, Oct 25 2001
  

       One of my strongest memories of winter in Beijing is the smells from sweet potato and chestnut vendors on the streets. I really miss that. Since supply and demand wouldn't support enough vendors to cover much land area in a place like NYC, and since flying cars in the city are dangerous, what we need is a combination UAV and chestnut (or sweet potato) roaster. As it flies overhead, it could take payments via a cellphone app and then drop little parachuted bags of chestnuts to the customer.
swimswim, Sep 30 2011
  

       No posh English waiter type's getting his hands on my nuts...
Alterother, Sep 30 2011
  

       French then?
swimswim, Sep 30 2011
  

       Now it's the $@!#% frogs... grrr... goddamn European conspiracy...   

       <wanders away muttering vague epithets concerning Belgians>
Alterother, Oct 01 2011
  

       This sounds the classic vendor effect. It's in the interests of the vendors to be near the middle of their target market, so they end up clustered together. It's in the interest of the customers that the vendors be evenly distributed, but the customers don't usually get to decide.   

       (This has been used as a parable to explain why political parties are basically all the same.)
spidermother, Jan 14 2012
  
      
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