Heartwarming Viral Video Shows Child Hugging NYC ‘Pretzel Man’

Social media has lit up with admiration for a local pretzel vendor in New York City, as a mother shared a heartwarming video of her four-year-old daughter running into the arms of the man — as she missed him after going on vacation with her family.

Tina Mangan, the mother of four-year-old Madison, told the New York Post that she was initially concerned as she watched her child sprint down a sidewalk on Manhattan’s notoriously busy Canal Street after school let out. However, her concern quickly turned to awe as she watched her daughter run straight into the arms of the pretzel cart owner.
Mangan quickly took out her phone to record the sweet moment.

“I was like nervous at first because she was running, and it’s like on the busiest street ever,” she told the outlet, adding: “he just put his arms out … and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’ And I pulled out my phone so quick.”

“I just remember hitting the zoom, and that’s when I saw him bend down to give her a hug,” Mangan added.

The mom then explained that the pretzel vendor has watched Madison and her one-year-old sister Michaela grow up, as his cart is parked directly across the street from the children’s preschool.

“Every time it’s a nice day when the spring season approaches, Madison gets so excited and is like, ‘Do you think the pretzel guy is going to be there?’ And I’m like, ‘I hope so!’” she said.

“We live in SoHo, just around the corner, and it’s just like a big surprise around the corner if he’s there or not,” Mangan continued.

“He’s honestly just the sweetest, kindest man and is always the first one to give you a cold bottle of water for free on a hot day and always stops to give a high-five. She loves giving him a high-five like that,” she added.

Mangan posted the video of the heartwarming moment on the TikTok account for her luxury baby sleepwear brand BasicallySoho, and the video quickly went viral — receiving more than two million views over the weekend.

“The sweetest pretzel man: he parks his cart outside of my daughter’s school and she loves giving him high fives when she walks by,” Mangan wrote in the video’s caption.
“She was on vacation for a week and missed him. When I picked her up from school today, she literally ran into his arms,” she added.

Mangan explained to the New York Post that she was “just happy to share the happiness and humanity in New York City.”

The video has since been shared to other social media networks, including X, formerly known as Twitter, where it also went viral.

Mangan has thus far declined to share the pretzel vendor’s name with the media, telling the New York Post that she has not had a chance to speak with him about his newfound stardom because she has not seen him since the video went viral.

Meanwhile, there have been hundreds of comments from fellow New Yorkers about the video, including many who discussed their special bonds with their neighborhood food vendors.

“I got emotional when I had to say goodbye to my coffee cart man when I moved from NYC. They become stitches in the fabric of your daily life,” one TikTok user wrote.

“This is exactly how I think New York kids grow up,” another user wrote. “Favorite vendor since childhood, same bodega spot so cute.”

X users also commented on the video, with many pointing out that Americans need more of this love and support within their communities. “How beautiful. That really makes the community stronger when you hug the pretzel man. Or shout a quick thank you [to] the mailman or waste pickup people. Half of us don’t even know the names of the people that live next door to us. We need more community love. More than ever,” one user wrote.


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