Series Returns to Bronx, Bringing Thin Trickle of Business to Local Merchants (Village Voice/Runnin’ Scared)

With a horde of reporters wandering around the Bronx looking for World Series stories, it’s probably inevitable that some of them would wander onto 161st Street and ask local merchants how business is going what with the new stadium next door. Answer: not so hot.

It’s officially a meme: The New York Times, following in the footsteps of WNYC and WCBS-TV, has an article today on how business at stores on 161st Street has cratered after the new Yankee Steakhouse and Baseball Stadium opened this year. A sample of the Times’ contribution to the genre:

While working in his father’s souvenir shop up the block, [Saeed Alawy of Pin Stripe Collectibles] recalled, there was no time to fold the T-shirts before selling them. Customers were lined up three and four deep at the counter yelling out orders and tossing wads of bills.

“They were throwing the money,” Mr. Alawy, 47, said.

Over the course of an hour on Monday, just 13 shoppers wandered into Pin Stripe Collectibles and Mr. Alawy made only four sales, for a total of $107.

One could nitpick that there wasn’t actually a game in the Bronx on Monday, but the other reports indicate that it’s a problem even on game days: The Yankee Tavern’s owner told WCBS that his business is off 20 percent this season, while the Concourse Card Shop’s is down by half… [read more]