The New York Times chimes in today on the Yankees‘ Souvenirgate, noting, as WNYC and WCBS did before them, that local businesses on 161st Street aren’t doing so hot now that the New York Yankees Steakhouse and Baseball Stadium is open across the street:
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.
This would, perhaps, be more impressive if there had actually been a game in the Bronx on Monday, but reporters on deadline can’t be choosers. (And WNYC did find similar inactivity on game days last week.)
Not reporting on the travails of 161st Street merchants: MLB.com, the official web publishing arm of Major League Baseball, which instead last night posted a love letter to the new stadium that is strangely evasive about the fact that it’s new at all, calling it the “House That Ruth Built” and reporting that “the shining diamond in the South Bronx has had three openings” — two, that is, on the other diamond across the street. The MLB.com report also upholds the tradition that every article about a new sports facility must refer to it as “glistening,” as if it were, er, something else.