News

New York Today: Sales Slow for Shops at Penn Station

Good morning on this overcast Tuesday.

After much anticipation, there were no major problems at Pennsylvania Station as track repairs began on Monday — for commuters, at least.

But vendors there were less than pleased. Workers at several shops in the train station on Monday morning said the transit upheaval was hurting business.

During the height of the morning rush, which they said was between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., things were far quieter than usual. At Drago Shoe Repair, near the center of the station, shoeshiners stared idly out the front of the shop, their polish cloths and spray bottles at rest.

“It’s terrible, and I’m being nice,” said Wilson Silva, who manages the parlor. “There are no people. We are on life support.”

“We expected it’d be a little slow — because summer is always slow, that’s normal — but now, we are below slow,” he told us.

Some employees we spoke to blamed the fact that commuters had to find alternative ways to get to work for the slower-than-usual business.

Joyce Felli, working behind the shoe repair counter, said that on most other mornings, the shine-stand was full by 8 a.m., with a line of customers spilling out the front entrance. “But now?” she said, motioning to the row of empty, red leather chairs. “Unbelievable.”

It was a similar story for those serving breakfast.

On a typical day at Le Bon Café, along the Long Island Rail Road concourse, the bagels are nearly gone by 8 a.m., said Olga Calle, who helps prepare the sandwiches. “But I’m missing my customers,” she said on Monday, pointing to a mostly untouched case full of fresh bagels and spreads. “You see? I haven’t sold anything.”

One level up, at Primo Cappuccino, Janina Quintero, a cashier, estimated that the shop had lost almost half of its regular customers on Monday morning.

And a few doors down at Don Pepi Delicatessen, near the Amtrak waiting area, Diana Lopez stood at the front checkout counter, watching passers-by shuffle past. Usually, long lines to the Amtrak platforms and overflow from the waiting train crowd block the store entrance in the morning, said Ms. Lopez, a cashier. But on Monday, the queues were gone and the lounge was filled with available seats. “It looks pretty deserted,” she said, before the next request for an iced coffee. “People are upset. People are bummed out.”

It was only the first day of eight long weeks of transit changes — so perhaps sales will swing back into good standing. After all, New Yorkers can’t live without coffee.

Or bagels.

Here’s what else is happening:

If you were thinking of sunbathing, think again.

It will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.

But it’ll still be hot — the high might climb to 86.

When Officer Miosotis Familia, one of 6,394 women in the New York City police force, was killed, her gender was far less of a focus than the dangers of her profession. [New York Times]

Mayor Bill de Blasio faced criticism when he returned to New York from Germany, where he spoke at a nonviolent demonstration against the G-20 summit meeting. [New York Times]

President Trump stands to make millions from his part-ownership of Starrett City, the nation’s largest federally subsidized housing complex in Brooklyn. [New York Times]

After a new opinion poll found more than 80 percent of New Jersey respondents disapproved of Gov. Chris Christie’s performance, he addressed criticism on a radio show. [New York Times]

An Army sergeant killed a New York State Police trooper who was responding to a domestic dispute upstate. [New York Times]

Two toddlers, who were siblings, were pronounced dead in the Bronx after being found unconscious in their beds. [New York Times].

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees blasted 47 homers to win the Home Run Derby. [New York Times]

Beginning next week, Prospect Park will ban cars for two months. [DNAinfo]

Where in the city will the next Amazon Bookstore open? [The Real Deal]

Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “A Timely Encounter”

For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Tuesday Briefing.

A sunset screening of “Good Morning, Vietnam,” on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [Free]

A discussion on the Brontë sisters, and how the 19th-century authors inspired a 21st-century musical, at Books are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. [Free]

The Classical Theater of Harlem performs a modern take on “The Three Musketeers,” at Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. 8 p.m. [Free]

Day 1 of Shakespeare in the Park’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. 8 p.m. [Free]

Alternate-side parking remains in effect until August 15.

For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.

Today is World Population Day.

The observance, which has been formally recognized by the United Nations for nearly three decades, is meant to remind and educate us about population issues around the world.

Thirty years ago today, the five billionth resident of our planet was born in Yugoslavia. That day — July 11, 1987 — was coined the “Day of Five Billion.”

We feel evidence of that population growth here in the city — on subways, in apartments and along sidewalks.

Last year, our city’s population reached a record 8,550,405 New Yorkers — a group big enough to fill Citi Field almost 205 times. Urban planners predict we’ll cross the nine million mark by 2040.

Are there imaginative ways the city can accommodate more people? Share your thoughts in the comments.

New York Today is a weekday roundup that stays live from 6 a.m. till late morning. If you don’t get it in your inbox already, you can sign up to receive it by email here.

For updates throughout the day, like us on Facebook.

What would you like to see here to start your day? Post a comment, email us at nytoday@nytimes.com, or reach us via Twitter using #NYToday.

Follow the New York Today columnists, Alexandra Levine and Jonathan Wolfe, on Twitter.

You can find the latest New York Today at nytoday.com.

Comments are closed.