For many years, chain businesses showed relatively little interest in New York City because of worries about crime and high land prices. Those concerns have largely disappeared.

The Strip

"If you're the manager of a chain, a clean sidewalk doesn't change the numbers on the register."

Peter Mastrocinque, right, at World of Pups, the store on 86th Street where he has worked for 15 years. Previous spread: Pedestrians on the corner of 86th and Fifth Avenue

The Holdouts

"If it doesn't start doing something soon, I'm going to be out of business after 26 years."