simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Store Policies
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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Store Policies

There was a time in NYC, where if you needed to use a public bathroom, you were in deep trouble. The city was harsh - there was no sympathy for body functions.
Reading magazines or newspapers was also forbidden. Newstands had signs posted that reading was not allowed. Signs like "No Reading. This is not a library" were common. If you wanted to check the time of a movie in a newspaper or magazine, you had to buy it. Or suffer some unknown consequences.
Admittedly, the tremendous volume of tourist traffic, commuters and the local population including many homeless, makes it difficult to maintain a friendly policy.
Times have improved, but the bathroom situation is still a problem. Some business establishments actually claim there is no bathroom, which is ludicrous if there are any humans working there. Others are more honest, like the green grocer whose sign in the photo clearly states that "restrooms are only for customers"
Why have things changed? I believe the invasion of national chain stores. The more liberal policies of suburban retailers have migrated to the city along with the stores themselves. Barnes and Noble superstores and Starbucks are two who have had an impact. When Barnes and Noble started carrying magazines, created in-store cafes and provided extremely liberal reading policies, magazine stands really had no choice but to follow in order to compete.
Although many bemoan the influx of large national chains into the city and worry that they will destroy the character of New York, I do reluctantly admit that the bits of comfort that these stores offer in a city that can at times be cold and inhospitable are welcome. In the love/hate world that is New York, I embrace these store policies ...

Postings of Interest: Green Grocer, No Salga Afuera, Cuts One Way.


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