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There are as many as 20,000 street vendors in New York City — hot dog vendors, flower vendors, t-shirt vendors, street artists, fancy food trucks, and many others.
They are small businesspeople struggling to make ends meet. Some are US military veterans who served their country.
This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life.
They work long hours under harsh conditions, asking for nothing more than a chance to sell their goods on the public sidewalk.
Yet, in recent years, vendors have been victims of New York’s aggressive “quality of life” crackdown. Many streets have been closed to them at the urging of powerful business groups.
These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.
However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction.