Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Navel of the World

This thing where New Yorkers don’t realize that independently owned c-stores are a thing everywhere is the most charmingly provincial little quirk.

A bodega, for those who don't know, is a little neighborhood shop in New York that sells mostly convenience store stuff: Toiletries and medicine cabinet stuff, snacks and beverages, maybe booze, prepared food, possibly some produce/ know, the eclectic mix of stuff you find at the non-chain convenience store in your neighborhood. 

Well, unless you live in the absolute 'burbs; then you might not actually have an independently-owned non-chain convenience store. Independent c-stores seem to be a largely (though not entirely) urban and rural/small town phenomenon. Think of a smaller, more disorganized QuikTrip or Pilot or 7-Eleven with a more eclectic selection of merchandise and probably a more prominent assortment of drug paraphernalia.

Of course outside of urban cores like the Five Boroughs, they are usually free-standing buildings that also have gas pumps, and the gasoline sales will likely be branded, which could make a carless Manhattanite mistake them for part of some petrol distribution chain because of the signage. However, just because Maqsud's Snak Mart is dispensing Chevron-branded gasoline, it doesn't make Mr. Hashemi an employee of the Chevron Corporation.