It was hard to tell the economy’s still weak if you looked at the lines outside places like Macy’s at the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst, Best Buy on 48th Street in Long Island City and Toys “R” Us a few blocks down Northern Boulevard in Woodside.
David Parra, Ricardo Silva and Crystal Ramos were first in line at Best Buy — after having camped out for four days, they said — and got the electronics they were looking for when the doors opened at midnight as Thursday turned into Friday. Some of their fellow shoppers had pitched tents on the sidewalk to wait for the doors to open.
Toys “R” Us had already been open for four hours, with the first shoppers going in at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. There too the line stretched down the sidewalk as customers waited to get the hottest deals.
Queens Center lived up to its reputation as the country’s most profitable mall per square foot, with crowds hitting stores like Macy’s as soon as the doors opened. As elsewhere, police officers and barricades were there to keep the crowds in line outside. Inside, radio station Hot 97 added to the fun by giving out T-shirts in the mall’s atrium.