2007-12-05 / Editorials

Queens Has It All For Holiday Shopping

Editorial

The holiday rush officially began this year on November 23, "Black Friday", so called because the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the busiest shopping season of the year and a time when merchandisers of every stripe, from corner candy store proprietors to corporate conglomerates that own national chains, find that seekers of holiday gifts will once more put some black ink in their ledgers.

What makes the shopping season that starts on Black Friday different from some other times of the year is the reason for all the frenzy and hoopla. Many families, for example, grit their teeth and start on a grim round of back-to-school shopping in September. Children must have school clothes, be those clothes uniforms or jeans and jerseys emblazoned with the name of a child's favorite sports figure, and paper, pencils and computer printer cartridges must be stockpiled. It may be necessary, but we hesitate to characterize the process as fun.

The holiday season carries with it a different feel. While the holiday-inspired search for a must-have toy or designer bag may be as frantic as the search for the right brand of sneakers at back-to-school time, the seeker is searching not out of necessity, but out of love. Parents delight in seeing their children's smiles as they open the one thing they always wanted. Cherished friendships are made stronger still by the knowledge that the gift presented was selected with thought and care after diligent search. The act of selecting the gift is as fraught with meaning as the gift itself.

For shoppers in Queens, as with their counterparts throughout the metropolitan area and the country, Black Friday was the start of a month that will see them flocking to malls and standalone stores in search of the many and varied items on their gift lists. Here in the most ethnically diverse county in the United States, consumers are fortunate- they need not venture too far in search of the perfect gift. Throughout the borough, along local shopping streets in every neighborhood, from Long Island City to Little Neck, merchandise that meets the needs and tastes of every ethnicity can readily be found. Searching for that mostwanted item is made easier for shoppers who know that if it is not to be found in one neighborhood, it is sure to be in another shopping venue nearly as convenient.

There are other advantages to shopping in Queens. As we mentioned, shopping areas are relatively close to each other, so a shopper need not wander too far afield in search of a gift item. "The packages you carry get home first", an adage found in many stores encouraging shoppers to take their purchases with them rather than go to the expense and bother of having merchandise delivered, has added significance at holiday time. If a full shopping bag is awkward and even a little heavy, there are plenty of places to sit down and rearrange one's bundles and reorganize one's thoughts.

Queens also boasts an abundance of places to take a break from a busy shopping day. Shoppers can grab a bite to eat at ubiquitous corner delicatessens and sandwich shops or sit down to a meal of several courses- the choices are nearly endless. Besides the ever-present hot dog carts, some neighborhoods boast vendors' carts that offer richly varied cuisine. If after a busy day of shopping spiritual refreshment is called for, holiday concerts and performances of all kinds are taking place all over the borough. Check this newspaper's Holiday Calendar of Events for a listing of many such performances. Like the food and the gift selections, many of these events are free or of relatively little cost and appeal to a wide range of taste and preference.

We wish our readers the happiest of holiday seasons and we hope that most of the preparation for that season will come to completion here in the borough that is home to all of us. Shop in Queens and see the world without having to purchase a ticket or stand on line waiting to board a bus, train or airplane. Throughout the year, but especially at this holiday season, Queens truly has it all.

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