A Blizzard is Coming

As the winter storm approached, vendors with cold weather gear get busy

by Santiago Melli-Huber and Jessica Cartwright

While New York bunkers down in anticipation of the incoming blizzard, Sandy Harrison is busy keeping her neighborhood warm.

She has been selling gloves, hats, and scarves at her Upper West Side stand for the past 25 years. This is her last winter, though, at 71rst Street and Amsterdam as she says she plans to retire this year.

Business of late has been bad with the rise of online shopping, she adds. Harrison says people don’t shop in person anymore because they’re lazy. Even her friends, she says, routinely return clothes they order online.

A mild winter helped slow down business earlier this winter, but the sudden drop in temperature has been driving customers to her pop-up shop, especially on Friday as Winter Storm Jonas approached. The 68-year-old says even drivers have pulled over for her products.

A mother herself, she says a lot of her customers are moms buying new gloves for children who may have lost them or not needed them up until now.

She says she probably won’t be out on the street to sell more accessories on Saturday during the blizzard. But come Sunday, she’ll be back on her turf to make sure the area remains shoveled. A snowy sidewalk can lead to a week of ice for Harrison.

“You gotta make it work,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do about the weather.”

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