The tourists had long vacated Times Square, leaving the streets there and to the south nearly empty; even the halal food vendors on 34th Street had packed up their kebabs for the night. Yet there it was: The sound of Christmas carols emanating from outdoor speakers at Herald Square, an aural enticement for the faithful to come to shop, regardless of the hour.
In the hours before dawn on Thursday, it appeared business was as usual at Macy’s. Window shoppers were transfixed by the store’s scenes of miniature Christmas glee; New Yorkers just off the graveyard shift got in their holiday shopping without the holiday crowds.
Then there were the inebriated post-graduates, drawn by Macy’s new “24-hour” signs on its doors and strolling the store’s empty aisles. A few of New York City’s homeless took advantage, too, washing their faces at a skin-care kiosk. And some sales clerks, indulging in the emptiness, played dress-up in clothing that carried price tags normally out of reach for hourly workers…