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At 7:30am this morning, the line of people patiently waiting for the opening of Manhattan's first Target store stretched all along an open-air corridor of the second level of the new East River Plaza mall. Many came clutching Target ads from the Sunday paper, and almost everyone had brought along their folding shopping carts. Put simply: Harlem was ready to do some serious shopping.
Come 8am, Target at East River Plaza welcomed the public, and everyone was handed a snazzy expanding tote with wheels. This weeded out the freebie-takers from the legit shoppers, and the hundred or so who woke up early to score some deals bee-lined straight for the home goods section.
And although home goods (hello, DwellStudio bedding) is always nice, we were most impressed with this Target's food section at this store, as it includes fresh produce (ooh, 19-cent bananas!) and?gasp?a packaged meats department. If you at all doubt the growing gentrification of Harlem, a peek at the milk section will set you right; it's got several flavors and brands of soy milk, not to mention coconut milk, hempmilk, rice milk, almond milk and even goat milk.
Back over in clothing, womenswear now boasts the Isabel & Ruben Toledo and Stephen Burrows collabs (more on these in the following story), but based on the crowd that showed up this morning, it needs a far more substantial plus-size department. It's not just our opinion; we actually overheard shoppers echoing the sentiment.
The only notable bit about the menswear department is that it has a small wall of novelty T-shirts not unlike what you'd find in a Hot Topic, just less band-focused.
To reach Target East Harlem Plaza: Take the 6 train up to the 116th Street stop and walk east for four long blocks until you can see the giant mall. Target is on the second floor. If you drive, parking at the parking garage for two hours or under is $4.70. We spotted some shuttles hanging out at the store, which may or may not be depositing shoppers at the 6 train.
· Inside Target, the Jewel in East Harlem's Big Box Crown [Racked NY]
· Bikinis, Bananas and Color Blocks in the East Harlem Target Collabs [Racked NY]