The Walt Whitman mall sat dark and vacant with the exception of the security guard making his rounds through the lot, the occasional Suffolk County Police car passing through, and the white, gray and orange tent pitched in front of Best Buy.
For the last six years, Saeed Khan, 23, has perched himself in front of the Huntington location so that he could reap the benefits of early-bird price cuts. This year, however, he doesn’t want to buy anything, he just wants to keep his tradition.
The Huntington resident said he set up his tent Thursday at 5 a.m. so he’d be comfortable while he waits for the store to open at 5 a.m. Friday. He said he arrived a full 24 hours in advance, unlike last year when he set up 22 hours in advance and was second in line. When the doors opened, several people cut in front of him and all of his waiting left him fifth in the store.
“Honestly, I don’t want anything,” Khan said as freezing rain and sleet drenched his tent.
Khan, an NYIT School of Management graduate student, said his mother died in September 2009 and his father died earlier. His family is spread out, with one sister in Plainview, three in Texas and a brother in Chicago. Only he and his twin sister remain at their house in Huntington for Thanksgiving. “I've been doing this for six years, I didn't want to break tradition,” he said.
Khan said he doesn’t know what he and his sister will do for Thanksgiving dinner. Chinese food was suggested but he said, "I don't believe in fast food."
He said he’d have to shop quickly once Best Buy opens because his shift as the assistant manager at a Burger King begins at noon.