I’m researching what the effect has been on local businesses.
1st stop: Princeton Shopping Center, 10:45AM.
All shops open, supermarket working at usual capacity. Absolutely no difference from any Monday morning.
Will update as the day goes on.
Anecdotal report from Mrs. SmadaNek yesterday — Shop Rite was slam-packed with non-English speakers, heavier than usual for a
Sunday afternoon. I’d bet the net effect of the boycott is a very slight bump in April economic numbers, shifting some retail activity up by one day.
Follow-up: Mrs. SmadaNek made a trip to Walmart and Lowe’s this morning.
Very little of the usual traffic, stores much emptier than normal for a
Monday morning. Our Walmart has a fairly large Spanish-speaking
customer base, as it is only a few miles up Rte 130 from Camden.
My husband went grocery shopping yesterday at the Montgomery Shop Rite and found nothing out of the ordinary for a Sunday afternoon.
2d stop: Nassau Street, 11AM.
A delightful day: bright, sunny, with a mild breeze. Perfect for bloggers to research and report.
Parked on Vanderventer Ave., walked down Nassau. All restaurants open and serving the usual number of people. Stopped at Panera and had lunch at a sidewalk table. One Spanish-speaking couple went in, came out a few minutes later with their lunch and sat at the table next to me.
Read Trenton Times story about Immigrants’ rights march set.
Finished lunch, went into a local shop and bought a shirt.
Walked around Palmer Square, where all the stores are open, as are the restaurants. Headed to Public Library, returned a book. Came out of public library and found a group of people in costumes. The grown-ups wore white with colorful ribbons, the children wore white shirts, black trousers and ribbons. All wore “jingle bells” on their legs. Music started and the adults danced to the accordion. Then it was the kids’ turn. One of the kids took out her violin and started playing, and the kids danced, holding sticks that marked the tempo.
It was a group of Morris Dancers!
Took a couple of pictures with the camera phone. Will post as soon as I figure out how to.
3rd stop: Princeton University campus, 12:30PM:
Walked from the main gate to Prospect Gardens, on to Frist Student Center (yes, that Frist). Everything on campus was exactly as usual, with all facilities (shops, cafeterias, faculty dining room) working as on any Monday morning.
On the way out from Frist saw a forlorn cloth banner: “Equal Rights For Immigrants”, with four other signs — one addressed to Senator Frist — on sticks placed on a triangle of lawn that had been chained off (in order to grow grass on the lawns, maintenance workers at PU have to chain off access, otherwise people keep walking on the grass). The display was unmanned and looked abandoned.
Reporting from a beautiful Princeton day,
Update, Tuesday May 2 The local paper says that Hispanic boycott takes its toll, while the businesses stayed open.