I just returned from the ribbon cutting at Canal Place, where the shops are open again for the first time since August 29th. On August 28th, I was bewildered by the sight of shops closing at two in the afternoon. Riding in the glass elevators, I turned to the young woman next to me and said, "I can't believe people are taking this so seriously." She agreed, "I'm not going anywhere. I'm spending the night on my boat."
There were three busloads of journalists for the ribbon cutting. They were all very hungry, judging by the frenzied grab for food prepared by one of the local hotel restaurants. And then they left.
But, of course, many of the shops actually aren't open again. The big chains are always the last to pitch in, so Starbucks is still closed, and others are waiting. In some cases, severe damage from looting has caused the delay: Kenneth Cole is scheduled to reopen in August, and Saks Fifth Avenue in November.
I'm not sure if it was the empty open stores or the exhibit of drawings by local children that made me want to crawl into bed. Or maybe it was the glass of champagne.