The Wall Street Journal has an article examining a few small hardware stores in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Here seems to be the extent of the sociology:
Here’s where the provincialism of New York City comes in, and customer loyalty that can be measured in a thimble with room to spare. One wouldn’t think that moving from 87th to 82nd Street, albeit also from Madison to Lexington, would be the equivalent of relocating to the Mongolian steppes. But much of Feldmans’ customer base, pleased though they undoubtedly were to have the store in the neighborhood all those years when they needed Liquid-Plumr or light bulbs for their Picassos, didn’t follow.
Takeaway: “New York is said to be a city of neighborhoods. It’s more like a city of individual blocks.” So New York City, like most big cities, has a number of different subcultures.
This may be pop sociology at its finest/worst. There is not much sociological content here and sociology seems to be the pseudo-academic cover for explaining the idiosyncrasies of the local city.