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The 7th and Broadway Santa

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at 11:21AM
SevenBroadwaySanta Ed Fuentes

Due to the cold chill and even colder economic climate, Broadway was simply not bustling with Christmas shoppers Tuesday.

Even Santa was hustling for gigs, but at least there was a twinkle in his eye as he shouted out bilingual Christmas greetings. He appeared to be charming everyone at the intersection.

Broadway shoppers stopped to say hello. Grown men and women sitting at cafes joked and laughed with him. FedEx and UPS drivers honked their horns and shouted -- some in Spanish and some in English -- promises to complete deliveries on his behalf. When children spotted him, parents whipped out cell phone cameras for a quick photo.

This Santa, who staked out the corner of 7th and Broadway, goes by the off-duty name of Martin. In between credible Ho Ho Ho's, he passed out small flyers with a phone number, offering his services for company parties, events or homes for "reasonable prices."

With his bell and booming voice, Broadway's female shop barkers that stand at the entrances of shops shouting "pasaje, pasaje" were easily upstaged.

"I've been on this corner for two years . . . this time of year," said El Nick, who works in a nearby store. Even with weighing in on the trim side of Santa, he has managed to pick up offers for appearances during the Holiday season. When asked if he will be back on the corner tomorrow, he quickly said "Just for a few more days."

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