November 28, 2008
5 am Macy's Opens on Black Friday
The alarm went off at 3:30 this morning. We had our vestments laid out and ready to go, and we drove off across dark and empty Brooklyn to pick up Barbara the Kat. Our old SAAB arrived in Herald Square, sailing through the Thanksgiving hungover city...
At 5 AM -- the High Altar moment of Consumerism, the Macy's front-door, opening on Black Friday. The shopocalyptic whirlwind was far more modest this year. Seemed like bridge and tunnel kids with the occasional young family. Under a thousand people we estimate - The Buy Nothing Day is growing and the moving-into-the-Black is weakening as America forges its quiet revolution. More and more folks confided to us that they would "make our presents this year... spend time together." A CBS crew said they wanted to catch us at the threshold because they are doing a story on the 20% increase in thrift and Salvation Army sales.
People were in good spirits, running for the door but laughing. Macy's called the police on us, but we quickly talked about their holiday shopping, and soon it seemed that the police didn't know what the nature of the complaint was. The morning after the Macy's Parade, they apparently feel they still own the sidewalks. And maybe they aren't happy with the Prophets of Comedy shouting at them every year... who turned out to be right! And the NYPD fear our First Amendment Song - the gospelized version they know can be sung at the drop of a winter glove, and it was again this morning.