Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grisly Gristedes

New York is home to some fantastic grocery stores, delis and gourmet shops.  You can probably buy whatever you want from anywhere in the world, at any time, somewhere in Manhattan.

But life isn't all Korea Town kim chi dashes, artisan bread purchases from Chelsea Market, or browsing the range at the venerable Murray's Cheese. Sometimes you just need to grab some muesli for breakfast the next day. Or an onion for that sauce. Some last minute lemons, a tin of soup, some so-called 'English' muffins. The basics, you know?

At times like that, TLOML and I go to Gristedes. We go there because it is only a block away. We certainly are not enticed in by the window display:
That packet of crisps has been there since we moved here in April.

I particularly love this display of washing liquid.

Eat your heart out Bergdorf Goodman!

I wonder if the 'neuro' marketing people intended for the red and orange bottles to languish in the footlights like this...
It isn't for the value either. Gristedes combines the prices of Whole Paycheque Foods with the ambience of Penn Station at night. I've seen actual proper furry mould on tomatoes in their veg aisle. And for a couple of weeks back in December it smelt like a rat or perhaps staff member had died and was rotting behind one of the display fridges. The staff, by the way, are pleasant enough but always look kinda grubby. Oh, and the odds of seeing a crazy person shouting to themselves in there are pretty high too.

And yet... and yet it is so close to home. I seem to be in there a couple of times a week, on a lazy week. To be honest, when TLOML is out of town and I'm mainly eating cauliflower and carrots and other substances banned from his presence, I'm in Gristedes quite often. One of the few New York retail experiences I will not miss.

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