Pimentel works behind a clear plastic window, serving customers through an opening. When New York cigarette taxes recently jumped, he stopped selling them, knowing few of his customers would pay $9 for a pack -- and refusing to break the law by selling single cigarettes, as many do. Also behind the counter are a few spare sets of keys belonging to neighborhood residents, in case they get locked out or a family member needs to get in.
Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times
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