Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We Want Our Bodega

Something's coming to the corner of Mott and Houston.



The space used to be La Cocina corner deli, but it's been for rent for awhile now.

Its side has long been wrapped in a plasticky advertisement, hot pink and decorated with anorexic women shoppers (some without eyes). Symbols of the new Nolita, they clutch their bags and strike poses around the words YOUR STORE HERE.



It's an insulting sign and appropriately attracted neighborhood rage from the beginning.

"We want our bodega," said one writer in black Magic Marker. "No more yuppies in Nolita."



A bit more recently, another writer got more colorful, saying, "FUCK YOU BLOODSUCKERS WE WANT A BODEGA BACK" and "FUCK YOU HOPE IT BURNS DOWN BEFORE IT GOES BROKE."



Of course, no bodega will ever return to this corner. At least, not until the yunnipocalypse. Now the facade has been opened up and renovated in distressed metal and glass that looks a lot like its neighbor around the bend, fancy clothing boutique Jay Kos (they sell $6,500 cashmere sport coats). I guess it won't be a 7-11 either.


14 comments:

John M said...

Just when I'm about ready to give up, I see this kind of response and realize that the New York I always loved is not dead. It's just getting swamped by luxuriation and suburbanization--for the time being. Graffiti on.

Penelope said...

was this place called Boricua Grocery...or something close? I think I have an old picture of that place...too bad it's being replaced by some nonsensical business.

Ken Mac said...

please excuse this blatant self promotion: Empire Theater in Times Square, 1990. Thought you'd dig it:

http://greenwichvillagenydailyphoto.blogspot.com/2012/08/empire-theater-1990-42nd-street.html

Ed said...

Nolita is a hard to understand neighborhood. The very name is a real estate publicist fabrication, the place grew out of a mafia run neighboorhood. its one of the most over-gentrified places in Manhattan (and honestly, really it should be, given the location) and architecture), tons of tourists, but somehow they sort of keep it real. There is a mystery to unravel here, but if we get to find out I dont' think it will happen until all this is over.

Anonymous said...

interesting that your "old New York" consisted of bodega's rather than beautiful shops, restaurants, butchers,shoe makers, haberdasheries, cheese shops and many more wonderful places that made NYC what it was
im happy to see the end of Bodega's and the return to the way it really was

Brendan said...

Anonymous at 2:05, those things you mention are vanishing too, as Jeremiah has extensively documented.

Also, the city has always had and needed small convenience stores, whether or not they were called bodegas (and they have been called bodegas for a long time). New York wouldn't be New York without bodegas. Arguably they define its character more than any other single kind of business.

laura said...

anon: the shoe makers, butchers etc ARE vanishing. that is the topic of most of he posts. & beautiful restaurants vanish too, all this is mentioned. yes & bodegas. 7/11s, banks are not what it was. pretentious luxury was not what is was. i myself dont mind luxury & beauty. but so much of what we see now is mall like. thats the problem. also we need high end cheese & affordable cheese. & laundries.

Anonymous said...

I think laura and Brendan are the same person. Same ignorant and offensive comments most of the time.

Anonymous said...

i would also like to add that these bodegas and similar type stores are so happy to sell fried food genetically modified food and other foods that 50 years ago were not around i am happy to see them go and hope more close. Its not a "hipster" or "yuppie" thing the re introduction to real food and farm food its YOUR OLD NEW YORK in fact!!!!!!!!!

laura said...

anon i know many places where there are wall to wall malls. go there, youll like it. you dont like this blog we know that.

Anonymous said...

If you can afford to live near Mott and Houston, do you think people care if you have a bodega or not?

If you can afford to live near Mott and Houston, you can afford to get in a taxi and go to your precious Whole Foods for organic and vegan products.

If you don't like New York the way it is today, than go to another city and find new complaints.

None of your opinions or blogs will change the city to old New York since no one wants an Old New York.

Urban Infidel said...

Interesting blog. I'm also a native of this city who laments the vanishing NYC we love. I just want to say that growing up in Spanish Harlem in the 60s and 70's we never called it a 'bodega.' It was just called a store. It wasn't until I moved to Williamsburg in 1985 that I noticed that the few artists that were living on the Southside at the time, who were all transplants called it a 'bodega.'

Just my two cents on the subject of bodegas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon@aug16, fuck bodegas. They're all fronts for something more profitable, and I'm sure the decision to "cash out" the bodega came directly from the skeez who owned the bodega itself.

Anonymous said...

Most bodegas were able to open when the power went out downtown. Chains were closed because not only if power outage, also because the workers were not local and has to commute from the outer boroughs. Keep driking your hurricane chain juice, chain and corporate lovers.