Cindy Larson's Black Friday began when it was still dark, 5 in the morning at Macy's in Broadway Plaza.
Larson scored a holiday gift there and also at Nordstrom's before pausing at a Broadway Plaza bench to give a bottle to her 4-month-old granddaughter Mia in mid-morning. Then it was on to Tiffany's.
It was brisk business on Black Friday at Broadway Plaza.
Five Larsons from Dublin came to Broadway Plaza for the shopping.
"I don't like malls," said Cindy Larson. "They're too crowded."
But, she added, "It's my favorite time of the year."
Family shopping on Black Friday is a tradition with the Lowens of Walnut Creek, too. "We look forward to it," said Elizabeth Lowen, who was shopping with her mother Mary Lowen.
They started at 7 a.m. at Target in downtown Walnut Creek — "it was crowded but that's to be expected," said Elizabeth Lowen — and then moved on to H&M and other outlets at Broadway Plaza.
Keeping the window shoppers happy was Ray Braz, window squeegee specialist for Broadway Plaza. Braz said he couldn't be precise, but he'd been doing windows there for three decades.
He's so much of an institution that on the back side of the David M. Brian store, the side facing the parking garage, a mural of Broadway Plaza bears a likeness of Braz. The mural was painted by Tim Taylor of Art Thou in Berkeley.
Shopping mixed with charitable giving during the busiest shopping day of the year at Broadway Plaza.
Junior Girl Scout troops from Martinez and Fairfield, working with the farmers market in Walnut Creek, were collecting warm coats for the needy at the Broadway Plaza fountain (which is for the season the Broadway Plaza holiday tree). It was Junior Girl Scout Troop 32464 from Martinez (including many fourth-graders from Morello Park Elementary School) and Troop 20484 in Fairfield.