Obama souvenirs sell “like hot cakes” near Ground Zero
Excitement over Osama Bin Laden’s death has turned Ground Zero into an attractive destination for New York’s street vendors and tourist-shop owners, according to the Spanish-language daily.
Outdoor merchants are making a fortune with souvenir sales, taking advantage of the dozens of tourists who are looking for the perfect photo of the site, the paper reports.
Faisal Butt, who works in a Liberty Street souvenir store, told the publication that sales of commemorative items had increased 50 percent since President Barack Obama announced the death of Al Queda’s leader.
Butt told El Diario that one of the most popular items is a decorative $44 bill with Obama’s smiling face, to recognize that he holds the 44th presidency.
“Tourists buy lots of these bills, which are worth $2,” he told the paper.”People also buy bills with the Statue of Liberty’s picture, but the most popular ones are the ones with the president.”
Butt told the paper that some tchotchkes are just “selling like hotcakes”– such as “American flags,” and glass desk sculptures of Obama.
Street vendors also look forward to a watershed, the paper reports.
Vinci Cheong normally sells “I Love NY” t-shirts and red, white and blue hats from $5 to $10.
But he said that he’s now seeing these same items selling for $8-10.
“I don’t agree with celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death,” he told the newspaper. “Violence generates more violence, but the news has brought us good sales.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 4, 2011