The quarter-inch layer of dust on canned goods doesn’t even matter
The door is always open and the city is dusty. The bodega gets busy. Dusting isn’t everyone’s forte. Choose your justification, wash that dust off, and carry on.
Merengue music blasting every Sunday morning
Good for the spirit, not so good for nursing a hangover. Charming either way. And when it isn’t merengue, then it’s the Bears, Hawks, or Sox.
The cooler of tamales that appears randomly throughout the week looks questionable at best
The taste? Phenomenal. The cooler is the bodega’s hangover savior, much like the Tamale Man is many drinking Chicagoans' patron saint.
There’s a meat department
Sure, the chorizo looks as if it has begun to cook through the glass in the cooler. Is that chicken grey? Doesn’t matter -- you’ll take a pound of each and somehow dodge food poisoning.