In a real supermarket, away from this place, you can wheel a full-sized cart around. They have those, because the aisles are wide enough that you could drive a Lincoln down ‘em. In New York, to stop in the aisle is to submit to a game of Frogger with your miniature cart.
- A mom needs the apple sauce; move up.
- Some dude wants to price several jams; shift 2ft to the right.
- An employee simply MUST restock the decaf coffee right this instant, because it cannot wait; exit the aisle in frustration without getting whatever you entered it for.
Hell. That’s what NYC’s grocery store aisles are. A personal hell.
I don’t want to move to the suburbs at this point in my life. I love NYC -- or more accurately, I love it more than I hate it, which is all you can really ask for. And I understand why our grocery store aisles are narrow: it’s how the Adjustment Bureau gaslights us into buying more hummus. Or maybe it’s just because space is at a premium. Maybe it’s a combination of the two? Whatever. The point is, I get it.
But goddamn if my skin doesn’t crawl every time I walk by the flesh parade in Trader Joe’s near 21st. Goddamn if I haven’t found myself staving off a full-blown temper tantrum in the murky corner of that C-Town by Pratt. Goddamn if I’m not overtaken, each and every time I go for groceries, with the conviction that yes, I would be happier if I moved to a small town with a big Wegmans. In a city full of enormous buildings and bigger egos, you’d think we could get some elbow room in Aisle 8. I yearn for it.
There I was, holding a can of chowder, blocking the way, and wistfully reminiscing on the easy-street aisles of supermarkets from my suburban youth. The people passed, and then the moment. I loved New York again. But goddamn if I don’t miss supermarkets with wide aisles to this very day.
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Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.