Black Friday came and went yesterday with the usual littering of mall melees and Thanksgiving-themed deals. But something was different around NYC this time: "I got here early thinking it was going to be more crowded," Justina Otero told the Daily News. "Black Friday is not what it used to be." And isn't that a good thing?

Of course, that doesn't mean there weren't still plenty of people shopping around the city yesterday—Macy's employees struggled with shopper congestion, Victoria's Secret was filled with people forcefully nudging each other out of the way, there were lines around the block for the Best Buy in Midtown, and there were plenty of hysterical children throwing fits at Toys "R" Us.

We sent photographer Gretchen Robinette out into the Manhattan madness during peak shopping hours to take in everything. And even if this was a lighter Black Friday than previous years—consumers apparently are relying more and more on online deals rather than in-store ones—it was no walk in the park.

"I did get pushed or shoved about 90 times walking through stores today," Robinette said. "But it sort of became impossible to move anywhere for anyone without pushing your way through the massive crowds of shoppers, many of which kept stopping to take selfies and causing traffic jams." Shoppers: save your selfies for post-shopping Instagrams!

Check out a video from Best Buy below, plus lots of photos above. And don't forget: today is small business Saturday, so if you are going to get some holiday shopping done, support local businesses!


Inside Macy's On Black Friday 2015by Gothamist