Marcus is leaving nothing to chance with less than two days to go.
“I even switched hats,” he says pointing to the plastic derby that replaced the Yankee cap tucked in his pocket. “You gotta advertise the merchandise.”
Marcus is a street vendor and his merchandise changes with the season. He usually sells Yankee T-shirts and hats along 14th Street, but these days he’s working a table on Amsterdam Avenue that has everything to bring in the New Year.
There are black plastic top hats and derbies and even some green hats left over from St. Patrick’s Day. “I covered them with ‘Happy New Year’ stickers and people have been snatching ‘em up,” Marcus says.
There are also 2008 sunglasses that sparkle and others that flash. There are tote bags that glitter and T-shirts that glow. And there are horns and rattles and steel noise makers and paper streamers and confetti bombs.
“Business is very good,” he says. “People aren’t stopping with just a hat and maybe a noise maker. They want everything.
“And it doesn’t end at midnight,” Marcus continues. “I’ll be out here though New Year’s Day and people will still be buying. I think tourists like to take the stuff home as souvenirs.”
“Do you keep anything as a souvenir?” someone asks.
“Yeah, my rent money,” Marcus says as he puts on a pair of flashing sunglasses. “That’s why I leave nothing to chance.”