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Greenwich Village Braces for Blizzard

By  Danielle Tcholakian and Gwynne Hogan | January 26, 2015 3:53pm 

 Locals readied themselves for the storm Monday morning.
Greenwich Village and SoHo Brace for Blizzard
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — Residents of Greenwich Village and SoHo scrambled to stock up on food and emergency supplies on Monday, as a blizzard of historic proportions surged up the East Coast.

Local businesses saw an increase in customers as people rushed in to grab supplies ahead of the storm, which was expected to dump about 2 feet of snow on the city.

"Generally, we're pretty busy after work, but people are coming in now," said Nick Balint, 42, who works at New York Chemists, a pharmacy on Christopher Street, on Monday morning. "It's been a pretty crazy morning."

"[The snow] makes everyone crazy," agreed pharmacist Dina Andriotis.

By midday Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency, vowing to shut down roadways and some public transportation by Monday night. The snowfall is expected to be heaviest between midnight and 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Customers stocking up on groceries waited in long lines Monday at the Morton Williams on Bleecker Street, which was running out of bread and meat.

Richard Wong, manager at the Gristedes on West Fourth Street, said the store was twice as busy on Sunday and Monday morning as it typically is, and the most popular items were bottled water, batteries, flashlights and non-perishable foods like canned tuna fish.

West Village residents Barrett Zion Gross, 52, and Sandy Straus, bought plenty of food at the grocery store Monday morning — but they also picked up three cases of beer.

"That's the main staple," Gross said.

Business was also booming at Uncorked Wine Shop on Christopher Street.

“For an early Monday it’s been pretty busy,” said Lisa Carley, the store's manager, who lives on the Upper East Side. She suspended the shop's delivery service but was still deciding if she would close early.

“We’re gonna play it by ear,” she said.

Some residents said they looked forward to being outside in the snow once blizzard conditions hit.

SoHo resident Rich Cole, 55, had just purchased his first snow bike, and planned to ride around Central Park or Prospect Park Monday night and Tuesday, even though city parks are closed starting at 6 p.m.

"Maybe an avenue here and there," Cole said, adding that he expects there "won't be too many cars in the streets."

But many other locals said they planned to hunker down during the worst of the storm.

New Jersey resident John Ahmedi, 51, runs a coffee cart in SoHo and said there's "no way" he's coming to work on Tuesday. He expects it could be as long as a week before he can get his cart, which he stores in Brooklyn, back on the street.

In the meantime, he's going to take advantage of his downtime at home.

"I'm gonna play poker, stay home with the guys," Ahmedi said, adding that he'll probably watch some daytime television. "It's been a long time since I watched 'The Price is Right.'"