According to The Brooklyn Eagle -- my fave local paper -- there just aren't any supermarkets around here! Unless you count the giant CostCo ....
"Worrisome indicators about the state of the borough’s health highlight serious systemic shortcomings. Conference literature sites a “Supermarket Need Index” created by the Department of City Planning, which determined that three million New Yorkers live in neighborhoods with a high need for grocery stores. In Brooklyn, those neighborhoods are Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, East New York and Sunset Park."
But I'd like to say, in our defense, that you can get NYC's best banh mi sandwich here. Suck on that, East New York!
Anyway, it's kind of true. Unfortunate, and true.
If I want decent fruit -- not good, but decent, mind you -- I have to walk to Rossman Farms at 25th and 4th. For the best meat, I go to Eagle Provisions on 17th Street (though I suppose if I want really fresh meat I could go to that live poultry place down by the strip clubs under the highway). Sometimes it would be nice not to have to walk 40 blocks for food, you know?
I could go to Hong Kong Supermarket or any one of the little mini-markets in Chinatown, but that's still at least a ten-to-fifteen block walk (and two avenues). And buying certain items in Chinatown -- like fish, for example -- can be daunting, because you can only point to what you want, and certain matters of etiquette are vague (um, are you going to kill the fish before I take it home?). I do like getting my five-pound bag of rice for $5, but carrying it home during the twenty-minute walk sucks balls.
It sounds like I'm bitching, and I probably am, but I'm kind of over Sunset Park right now. When I first moved here in the fall of '07, certain things about it were cute. The charm has totally worn off by now, leaving me a loud, bitter person. The longer I stay in NYC's most overrated borough, the more calcified and ossified the brittle shell becomes. Everything about the city in its present state gets on my nerves. More and more these days I hear a voice in my head saying, "The city's a toilet." The voice belongs to the "when are you going to come and see the ba-bee" woman from Seinfeld reruns. The city is no longer the big Seinfeld episode of my dreams. It's just a big ole toilet.
Whenever I get these "It's time to get out of here" moments, I know I desperately need something to renew my New Yorky-type love. Like random, heart-shaped fireworks, or a CHUD sighting. Failing that, I'd settle for seeing some of my neighbors get into a horrible, face-mangling accident. Like maybe getting hit by a Mister Softee truck.
Although I did have a wonderful moment recently. I yelled at this guy on the N train last weekend: "You can't get the 1 train from here! It's at 7th Avenue and we're at Union Square! You've been a New Yorker for 57 years and you don't know that? come on man!" And it was so satisfying. Transferring to the 1! Ha! ha! I snort in derision.