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Customers at East Harlem Target Find Quieter Crowds on Monday

By DNAinfo Staff on July 26, 2010 4:28pm

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

EAST HARLEM — A day after Target opened in Manhattan, shoppers faced smaller crowds, but still remained excited.  

Tracy Prout, 31, an East Harlem resident, was so excited for the opening of the new Target store at East River Plaza that she snapped photos of the gluten-free bananas on sale for $0.19 each to post on her Facebook.

"I think it's going to bring people that haven't been to East Harlem in a long time and don't know how awesome it is," Prout said of the Manhattan Target, which opened on Sunday.

The grand opening of the store certainly attracted a different crowd to the neighborhood, with stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Tyson Beckford walking the red carpet at a preview of the store last week.

Would-be shoppers of the store lined up outside the store in the wee hours of Sunday morning and kept employees busy all day, said Tracy Robertson, a supervisor at the store.

"We were all amazed," Robertson said.

Crews worked through the night to clean up from the aftermath of the shoppers, Robertson said. By Monday, the gleaming halls and perfectly arranged shelves of the store looked like the day after the storm.

"Everything is just shiny and brand-new," said Rhetta Barron, 64, who hopped on a train from the East Village up to the store in search of clothes to fit her petite frame.

Shoppers who opted to drive to the Target had to pay for parking at the plaza's multi-tiered parking lot. Rates for parking run for $4.70 for up to two hours and $10.50 for three hours.

"I hate that, it's terrible," said Judith Rude, 65, an Upper West Side resident of the parking prices.

The convenience of shopping at both Target and Costco justified paying for parking, Rude said.

"I mean, I could go to Jersey and I'd have to pay the tolls," she said.