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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How You Can Have What You Crave When You Want It

Tonight I trekked up to Fairway on the Upper West Side for some groceries. I used to live a few blocks away and never thought I could move away from my supermarket.

Now and then I make the journey if I'm out early enough from work. It's a moot point, though, since Fairway is open 24/7.

I was limited to only what I could carry, and what I got was this:

3 stalks of broccoli
1 container Fairway guacamole
1 container Fairway Pecorino-Romano grated cheese
1 liter bottle Fairway Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
1 box Kohinoor 'Heat & Eat' Aloo Palak (an Indian dish of spinach and potatoes)
1 box Certified Organic Maple Flavored Stroopwafels (a Canadian product)
4 containers Stonybrook strawberry lowfat yogurt

I was tempted by everything else - bins of granola in a variety of flavors, the dried fruits, the refrigerated shelves heaving the pre-made pastas, salads, soups and main courses, the rotisserie chickens with lemon-herb, rosemary or Peruvian seasonings, the desserts, cakes, deli products, hot and cold salad bars. Somehow I managed to walk away without purchasing any of the many soy products and imitation meats (I am half-joking).

After I got home, I had to wonder - is this normal, the fact that you can get organic everything, foods of so many cultures, and so many prepared foods under one roof? And at any time of the day? I could have easily gone to any of the many other supermarkets like Whole Foods and Balducci's and gotten the same grub for slightly more money.

The reason I wonder is that I'm terrified of becoming spoiled. More than anything, I want to live in this city without taking it for granted. I don't want to become one of Those People, who walk around snootily with a sense of entitlement, who forget their roots, who forget what it's like not to have anything. They're the ones that push you aside on the sidewalk, and roll their eyes at other places on the planet. They probably don't even step foot in supermarkets.

Once you become one of Those People, you lose the sense of value and meaning. Of all my fears, that's the biggest one.

For an earlier post about Fairway, click here

Photo by myself at a street vendor downtown.


Reluctant Blogger said...

I just love that type of shop. I had a favourite one like that when I worked up in Bradford - you could get everything in the most basic packaging possible and the smell as you walked into the shop - WOW!

Lovely post - heartwarming and thoughtful and very true.

Tammy said...

You eat really healthy. Good for you! I have a really hard time to get my teenager to eat healthy. she'd rather eat cheeseburgers every day. My toddler eats great! He loves vegetables and would rather eat that than french fries. I guess I learned from my mistakes with Aurora. Now just to get her to eat veggies without fighting with her about it. LOL! Have a great day my friend!

Spandrel Studios said...

At least as far as food goes, no, New York is not "normal"! So you're right to celebrate and appreciate its multi-cultural, fresh, organic, and artisanal bounty, in all its forms!

From what I've gleaned in this and your other entries, you don't sound at *all* like the kind of person who would become spoiled or take for granted the huge range of options New York offers.


Columbia said...

Hey Kitty-

I think about this from time to time. I thought my wife was joking when she said she couldn't get tofu cream cheese north of 96th on the way to work. "What bagel shop doesn't have tofu cream cheese these days?" I *snootily* pondered aloud. As it turns out, most of them. What has a middle class kid from long island become? >sigh<

Well, if you do decide to be spoiled at some point, try the guac upstairs. It's by the tofu sandwiches and such. Yucatan brand maybe? It's a little more pricey than the fairway stuff, but once you try it there's no (happily) going back. :)