Leave the city for a few days, and the NYT goes all wistful about retailing back in the day. Cue the tiny violin...
1) Hardware stores are closing at a rapid rate on Canal Street. In fact, as of last week, there are none left! Money quote: "We used to have guys who would come in every day just to see what we had. We had maybe a hundred customers like that that would come in every day." [NYTimes]
2) The Lower East Side is apparently, like, all trendy now, and hip new stores are forcing out old retailers. Money quote: "Shelves of brown cardboard boxes stuffed with underwear lined the walls; to get a pair, a salesperson would climb wooden ladders precariously affixed to a bar just below the tin ceiling." (Runner-up money quote: "When you walked back there you had the underwear department. Hanes! Jockey!") [NYTimes]
Good times, good times. Man, it is just super to be back.