Every few blocks in Manhattan you will come across a little store with an awning out front and a wide array of products inside. We call them bodegas…I have no idea why. Boston, apparently, uses that term as well while the mid-west uses “party store” or “corner store.” Taiwan is flooded with 7-11′s while in New Zealand you might hit up the “dairy” for smokes at four in the morning.
Here is my bodega (technically I have three in my area that I cycle through but they all look much like this):
Two points here. First, these things aren’t giant mega-marts with tons of shelf space, they’re little stores which makes this next point so amazing to me, mainly that the ones in New York stock some really fucking weird shit.
We’ll start with what is, hands down, the most astonishing part of my local bodega: the lunch buffet.
Not every bodega has one of these but a large number do and I have never, at any moment in my life, understood this. Who eats this stuff? More importantly, who cooks this stuff? I should point out that of the three bodegas in my area this array of victuals is found in the tiniest one. And it’s not a small buffet either. Here, look:
That’s not a mirror at the end there, that’s more fucking steam trays. This is a crazy number of different foods. They have a seafood section for the love of all that’s holy! How does a corner store sell this many different dishes *by the pound* at a lunch buffet? And why this stuff? I’ve been to plenty of buffets in my lifetime. Not a single one of them has had deviled eggs:
Now, for all I know this is the single greatest meal to be found on the entire island of Manhattan. This could be a culinary trip through worlds of flavors and tastes the likes of which I’ve never experienced. But I’ll never know ’cause I ain’t eating it. Not a cliff I’m looking to dive off of anytime soon.
The good news is that you can wash down your deviled eggs with coconut water:
I’ve actually heard of this product…sort of…I think. But it’s a cooking item, not a beverage, and that really doesn’t matter because I can’t find this crap in my local supermarket so why is a place that has one-fourteenth the refrigerator space stocking it?
Here’s a fun one:
I’ll repeat. I live in New York. Who is using these? I think I’ve seen one fireplace in my ten years of living in New York and it was sealed shut with bricks and had a TV sitting in it.
I have no idea what this is:
The price tag should give you some indication of how big the box is, which is not very big at all. It certainly does not hold the elaborate stainless steel menorah pictured on the cover. My best guess is menorah polish.You know, because the holidays are just around the corner.
The following is a picture of a bottle of white vinegar from a major brand. This is neither rare nor weird, I’d just never noticed how fucking stupid their slogan is:
Now, let’s say it’s three in the morning and you find yourself ravenously hungry. You don’t want to order in a full meal because you have a few ingredients on hand that you want to get rid of, things like a sack full of toast points, a jar of sour cream and a bottle of champagne. Where do you go? Why, you go to my bodega…because they sell caviar:
Oh, my caviar has a first name, it’s K-V-L-A-D-A-T-V-I-A. And my caviar has a last name, it’s S-V-O-R-I-S-T-K-R-Y-P-T-N-I-A…
We’ll end with what has to be the strangest product I’ve ever seen in my life. Technically I think this was actually being used by one of the people working at my bodega and wasn’t for sale, per se, but I don’t care. The point here is that this product is being made somewhere by someone and is then being purchased by someone somewhere else for use.
Tired of your dull, boring leaves?
You know it’s good because it’s from Holland.