Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Disappearance of the Neighborhood Market

In today’s New York Sun Lauren Mechling writes nostalgically about the disappearance of the local neighborhood supermarket. The focus of the piece is the closing of D’Agostino’s in Brooklyn Heights in the face of the onslaught of specialty stores like the Garden of Eden.

The story has a decent credibility when you look at certain neighborhoods but does not hold up when you look at the entire city. The low income neighborhood shopping strips of New York are still anchored by independent supermarkets run by immigrant entrepreneurs. Poor and working class communities are not pining for the next Whole Foods but are more interested in fresh food at reasonable prices. This is what these supermarkets are doing well.

Suggestion: Lauren let’s take a tour of these stores and you’ll have an excellent story about how a group of immigrant storeowners, investing tens of millions of dollars, kept entire commercial areas of this city from going down the tubes during the 1970s.