Thursday, August 2, 2012

Death of a Deli

As 7-11 and the like aim to convert the city's bodegas and corner grocery stores, more of these mom-and-pop shops shutter, quietly, unnoticed except by their loyal customers who live nearby. JVNY reader Eddie sends in the following report and photos of his corner deli in Yorkville, recently closed.


He writes:

"Paris, Vienna, and Buenos Aires have their cafes. New York has delis. We don’t hang out and sip lattes for 3 hours. We buy a paper cup of coffee and a $13 pack of cigarettes and hang out on the sidewalk, shooting the shit with neighbors and drunks from the bar next door. This is all we have. And they are dying.

My corner deli has a photo of my daughter above the register. The flowers outside are the garden I wake up to every morning when I look out my kitchen window. Heck, I even check on the flower guy, who is out there all night, when I get up for a 2 a.m. pee.

The new building owners doubled the rent, so they are moving. The good news is that they will only be a block away. The bad news is whatever is coming next. My garden view will probably be that of a 7-11.

New York City is dynamic, and these things inevitably happen. But in my Yorkville neighborhood, where the creeping 2nd Avenue subway is already forcing rents and condos high into the sky, I stop and take a breath.

I might have to move."



Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Bloomberg's "soda ban" would apply to delis and bodegas, but NOT 7-11, as it is considered a convenience store, and therefore exempt from the proposed legislation. As usual, behind every one of Bloomberg's good deeds lies the interest of one of his cronies. More often than not, a big developer.

James said...

Anon. The proposed rules (and many others) apply to restaurants but not grocery stores. It has nothing to do with "cronies".

onemorefoldedsunset said...

So many of the corner stores around where I live have turned into restaurants. Prime spots for the sidewalk table scene.

EV Grieve said...

7-11 will be the death of us all.

chiclyred said...

and another piece of me dies, still unnerved by the closure of avenue a mainstay, sok's deli (with a theatre lurking within it's massive structure).

laura said...

all over mexico/central america 7/11. mom & pops closing. don't go there! this is world wide, & how low can you go? & how ugly can you go? fxxk bloomberg, make HIM GO there!!!

dash said...

Yeah, I agree with Laura. Just got back from D.C. All of this feels particularly painful because New York is our city. But it really is happening everywhere. Touring around D.C., the same chains that are in expansion mode are taking over that city too. 7-11's everywhere. Banks on every corner. Whole Foods, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, CVS, Walgreens, Starbucks, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, The Container Store, on and on and on. It's a problem that seems bigger than us. What to do?