NYC grocery aisles are tight. They’re gloomy. They occasionally have large cinderblock pillars planted directly in their centers, like a riot-proof hallway in a prison. Have you ever rounded a corner and tripped over a rogue 5lb bag of navy beans? I have. It happened just the other day at Red Apple. That particular grocery store is underground, which I can make peace with. But those aisles? A goddamned war zone. The gates of Thermopylae. Struggling through NYC’s bullshit grocery aisles is harder than watching 300 sober.
In other words: it is very, very hard.
If you were raised here, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said one of my friends, who was raised here. “A supermarket is a supermarket.” We were in the Fairway near 74th, and the produce aisle looked like the deck of the Titanic. True, there was a crate of summer squash where Billy Zane should’ve been, but other than that, the scene was identical. “People weren’t meant to live like this,” I hissed, clutching my basket to my chest as a family of four crowded towards the sugar cereals. Flanked by an in-aisle pop-up display of maple syrups, I had no escape. The fear set in. “This is no supermarket.”