February 26, 2011

In Defense of the Corner Grocery Store

When you live in a suburb or a suburb-like city such as Las Vegas, Portland, or Los Angeles, you take for granted the wide range of supermarket availability.  Safeway, Vons, Kroger, Albertsons, Fred Meyer --- you usually have at least two or three of these within an easy drive of home. However, if you live in a city-city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, these hubs of grocery commerce are thin on the ground.

The Situation
   That doesn't mean they don't exist, but the numbers are few and, as these things usually go, inconvenient to your apartment or condo. Especially, as is often the case with city dwellers, if you don't have a car. Keep in mind that not having a car means:
   It often takes an hour or more to get to and from said supermarket on the bus. And in San Francisco, that can be $2.00 for each person coming and going;
   Your purchases are limited to what you can carry. This means no whole watermelons, large juice bottles, or 5lb. bags of anything;
   Travel time and temperature issues --- If it's a warm day and you have to take two buses (a common occurrence), kiss off buying frozen anything, especially ice cream.