Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Whole Foods No Answer

In this morning's AMNY there's an article heralding the arrival of Whole Foods to "underserved" Soho: "If there’s one things residents of TriBeCa routinely complain about, it’s the lack of grocery stores.They’ll be hard-pressed to complain starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, when a ribbon-cuttng marks the opening of a Whole Foods at Greenwich and Warren streets.
TriBeCa is an underserved area when it comes to grocery stores and we’re happy to give them a supermarket selling high quality food at competitive prices,” Fred Shank, a spokesman for Whole Foods, told Urbanite."

Well, all of this is fine and dandy for the upscale folks in Tribeca and Soho; but the arrival of the Whole Foods chain, whose CEO once compared labor unions to herpes, does absolutely nothing for the middle class neighborhoods of New York who are hemorrhaging supermarkets at a rapid pace while the city commissions discussions of the problem.

The evictions of the Key Food in Soundview and the Met Foods in Pelham Gardens-along with the loss of the Associated markets in Brooklyn, and the list goes on-is a crisis that needs more than discussions. Particularly so when the commission (or is is task force?) is cluttered-with a number of important exceptions-with folks who have no clue about the way in which the industry operates.

Isn't it time, for instance, for Mayor Mike to tell Vornado that any attempt to evict the Key Food from its shopping center will result in the company being blacklisted from any new city development? But that would mean the mayor would be taking on those "special interests" that he doesn't see as special in the way in which that term is understood. The Vornados of the world are part of the class, Bloomberg's own home team, that the mayor sees as stewards for the downtrodden-not as uncaring bottom liners who couldn't give a rat's ass about the poor folks of Soundview. As we have said before, Mike's not above these interests, he embodies them.