Many shopowners failed even to return to their stores yesterday, but Samuel Rosenblum, co-owner of John and Al’s Sports, were 20 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition had been stolen the day before, was looking forward to going home after a 36 hour vigil in his store at 927 Broadway. The sound of hammering had replaced the wail of police sirens at Mr. R’s store, but up the avenue at Rose Stevens, a 67-year-old widow, the sound of weeping had taken over. After spending the night alone in her $57 a month apartment over a burned out meat market at 1235 Broadway she spent the day wandering in search of a new home. “I wish I died,” she said, tears spilling from her eyes, already swollen from crying. “I’m almost 70 years old and I have no place to go.”
She was later placed in emergency quarters.
To many walking along Broadway, past store mannequins sprawled like bodies of war victims in the street and piles of glittering glass, the events of the preceding 24 hours were a mystery. “Most of the people involved were unemployed. A lot of people are looking for work here. The poor people felt it was their turn now.” “Broadway was run down long before this riot occurred. This is the first time street sweepers have been seen on Broadway in 3 or 4 years.”
excerpt from David White NYT 7/16/77