On a sunny Black Friday in Philly, some folks were not in a buying mood

So, the wine has flowed, the turkey has been picked to bone, the leftovers now pile high in the fridge.

For many Americans, it’s one holiday down, another to obsess about.

West Philadelphia’s Toni Avant was one among an estimated 147 million Americans expected to go shopping this weekend.

“Buy three and get three free and spend a certain amount and get a free bag with more stuff, so, yeah, I did good,” Avant said towards the end of a Black Friday spree along Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia. “I did very good.”

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Yes, the deals are out there and some people want them, badly. But not the entire world has gone mad over iPad Minis.

If you knew where to look on a warm November Friday, it wasn’t hard to find people who spent their day off avoiding the malls.

Germantown’s Angelo Shugart breezed along the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing with his grandkids. Shopping?

“Ahh, no, not on Black Friday, never. Are you crazy?”

Steve Wolfson and his family, from Houston, Tex., wouldn’t be caught dead in a mall this weekend:

“I would spend more money to avoid the crowds.”

Noah Flaxenburg, in from Los Angeles to visit family, strolled through Franklin Square with his wife and their infant daughter.

“We went to CVS and bought some snacks for her,” he said. “That’s about the extent of the shopping we’re gonna do.”

Mike from South Philly hangs out with his retired friends every weekday in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park at the city’s southern tip. Sitting on folding chairs in the shade of a tree, they couldn’t have been further from the retail mayhem they saw on TV.

“They throw a left and a right, and a right and a left, and they were running here and running there,” Mike gave his play by play. “Up this aisle, up that aisle, they were like a horse race with no heads.”

For some, it’s not just the crowds that keeps them away from the shopping centers.

With the economic uncertainty that comes with the prospect of the nation going over a “fiscal cliff,” Ariel Pinto has put his family’s holiday on a tight budget.

“Trying to save instead of spend at least from the family perspective,” the Norfolk, Va., man said. “So if we ever lose work or anything like that, we can live off our savings until things get better.”

Zach Mintzer is a college student worried about finding a job when he graduates:

“I’m trying to make my gifts instead of buying them all and also trying to find places that are cheaper”

No matter the economy, South Philly Mike said he keeps gift giving simple:

“I give out money. They don’t sell money yet.”


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