Sales and the City: Has the mallification of Manhattan gone too far?

Marc Acito

Susan has been working the corner of 82nd and Broadway for 15 years. The cops sometimes give her problems, citing neighborhood complaints, but she still shows up to flash some glitz and hawk her wares. No, Susan's not a hooker or a drug dealer. She's a street vendor.

Every Thursday through Sunday the jewelry designer sets up a table with hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind creations priced anywhere from $65 to $165, as well as what she calls her "cheap and cheerful section." During the 15 minutes I hung out with her, four people stopped by to visit, three of whom she knew by name, one of whom bought a necklace. "She's like the Neighborhood Watch," explains one customer before asking Susan to look after her dogs while she popped into Duane Read.