THE BAG BUST
Chinatown gets a bad rap for selling counterfeit bags. Canal Street is world famous for selling knock-offs. About a year ago they shut down a large row of stores, leaving the block empty. This week, the Cops made another big bust and closed down another block.
I don't really see how cracking down on bags is a priority in our community. I've heard that the city loses money on luxury tax when people buy counterfeits instead of the real thing. In my opinion the people who buy counterfeits are not the same crowd that are going to be buying the good stuff.
Regardless of whether you agree with my point of view; it has hurt our community. When the bag stores are shut down by the Police, the stores are left vacant. The landlords can't collect the rent and the businesses that were there aren't going to be paying their taxes.
Empty blocks equals less foot traffic in the area. That means it hurts our restaurants, boutiques, cafes and even our ice cream stores.
And the funny thing is that the people that sell knock offs just learn to evolve. When they have their stores taken away from them, they wind up selling at secret locations and out of garbage bags. The bags are still being sold, but their blocks become part of a ghost town.