Will Whole Foods Destroy Brooklyn?

Whole Foods will open its first location in Park Slope, Brooklyn next year, following an eight-year battle with community activists, preservationists, and some leaky subterranean oil tanks.

Opponents of the project are concerned the upscale grocer will destroy the bucolic landscape, chase away the thriving manufacturing industry, and forever conceal the historic backyard of one of Brooklyn's most treasured landmarks. Seriously.

A few blocks away sits the legendary Park Slope Food Co-op, which routinely tackles issues of national—and international—importance, such as conflict in the Middle East, natural gas drilling, and our "post hyper-capitalist" future.

What do threatened co-op shoppers and neighborhood activists have to say about the new Whole Foods?

Reason.tv correspondent Kennedy investigates.

Written and produced by Jim Epstein.

Approximately 2.30 minutes.

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  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Will Whole Foods Destroy Brooklyn?

    Everything destroys Brooklyn. That's what makes it Brooklyn.

  • Brian D||

    Will Brooklyn destroy Whole Foods?

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Nah, Whole Foods will be destroyed in its own good time.

  • shrike||

    Black is beautiful

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Been getting into '60s slogans lately?

  • Barry D||

    You talking about the water in the canal?

  • AuH20||

    Homer: We have a saying in Springfield. If its brown, drink it down. If its black, send it back.

  • ||

    We can only hope.

  • Waiting For Registration||

    Is Brooklyn on our Enemies List?

  • Suki||

    Awesome booties Kennedy!

  • ||

    I thought so too. I'm generally a big fan of ankle boots.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    I hope Kennedy becomes Reason.tv's Mo Rocca, interviewing, with a straight-face, the incredibly un-self-aware.

  • Waiting For Registration||

    We laugh, but this is how Lizz Winstead got her start, and look at her now.

  • ||

    Mo Rocca, that takes me back...back when the daily show was tolerable because of "BOOOOOOOOOSH!!!1111."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Made me think of the episode of HIMYM with the hipster guy near the Intersection.

  • Romulus Arugulus||

    The horror! I'm betting the parking lot will be so jammed on opening day that protestors won't be able to get within blocks of the Whole Foods store.

  • CE||

    and the protesters will shop there later, cause they like the granola

  • ||

    I guess Brooklyn isn't a food desert. Oh wait, only poor minorities can't be trusted to make economic decisions in what they think is their own best interest.

  • zarcasmic||

    Hey! Sarcasm is my rice bowl!

  • sargasmic||

    Beats thinking.

  • o3||

    "Oh wait, only poor minorities can't be trusted"
    _
    u mean like skittles n ice tea or 40's n 9's?

  • ||

    skittles n ice tea

    It ain't no Skittlebrau, that's for sure.

  • T||

    u mean like skittles n ice tea

    Is this a thing? People putting skittles in beverages?

  • ||

    Is this a thing? People putting skittles in beverages?

    Other than Homer putting them in beer, I'm pretty sure I recall a legitimate suggestion of putting skittles in sprite.

  • T||

    Every day, I find some additional reason to loathe humanity and question the existence of a vengeful god.

  • ||

    seems like a bit of an overreaction, but ok.

  • ||

    In all seriousness, if Whole Foods comes in, I think they can reasonably expect some gentrification.

    I'm just somebody who's always thought of turning ghettos into non-ghettos as a good thing. I hear people wax nostalgic for ghettos, and I'm disgusted.

    I hear people wax nostalgic for ghettos that haven't disappeared yet, and I think somebody should call the guys with the nets.

  • ||

    I think they are just fooling themselves. If a Whole Foods is moving in, you already live in a gentrified neighborhood.

    Although, I think the gentrification argument is a hollow one. They don't really care about yoga studios and Pinkberrys all over the place, what they fear is that the neighborhood will price them out, and their dream of affordably living near Manhattan so that they can properly enjoy their sour grapes will be dashed.

  • ||

    It isn't exactly affordable now. I pay 3.600 for a 1000 square-feet apartment.

    Anyway, this is excellent news as I hope this will send the cretins at the PS co-op into apoplectic fits.

  • ||

    Affordable in the vs. Manhattan sense, of course.

  • ||

    Fair enough. Plus we have a park that let's you BBQ so there's that.

  • ||

    NO FRISBEES!, right?

  • ||

    Frisbees are fine. 6 Little league baseball fields, Football, soccer, whatever. A band stand, dogs off-leash and boat rides.

    It's not Zion National Park but pretty neat for NY.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Me too.

    My own private 5 acres.

  • ||

    Exactly!

    They're afraid of getting priced out of the neighborhood.

    Rent control always means there aren't enough cheap apartments around.

    And you're right about how the retail is usually being the last thing to come in. Retail is all about concentric demographic circles, with the number and disposable incomes of people within a one, three, and five mile radius.

    Traffic counts would figure into that--but probably not in New York. Anyway, once Whole Foods shows up, the concentric circles have already manifest themselves. These people are probably already being priced out--Whole Foods is just emblematic of their problem, so they fixate on that.

  • ||

    is just emblematic of their problem, so they fixate on that.

    The American Political Process In One Sentence.

  • Rhywun||

    The area is already gentrified if you walk two blocks in any direction. Mere mortals already can't afford to live there. This plot is just one of the last holdouts of the industrial area that used to line the Gowanus Canal.

    I think the real issue is unions.

  • ||

    the industrial area that used to line the Gowanus Canal

    Yes, the reason Gowanus most days is a more spectacular color display than the Northern Lights.

  • Franco||

    Park Slopes isn't all that much cheaper than Manhattan at this point.

  • ||

    Actually, it's more expensive than UES. But, the hipsters wouldn't be caught dead living there.

  • Franco||

    I'm from the area. This Whole Foods is moving into the outskirts of an upper middle class to wealthy area. A highway separates it from the shadier hood.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I like 'hoods, from a market based point of view. Anything you want is in the hood.

  • Barry D||

    Ghetto? The pictures of the space in question didn't make it seem like it rises to the level of a functioning ghetto, even.

    And maybe gentrification will allow the preservationists to raise enough cash to keep the historic structure from being condemned as a safety hazard...

  • ||

    Whole Foods might be able to incorporate the facade into their structure.

    They were talking about open space in the video. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people from the community come into a Planning Council meeting or City Council meeting during public comment periods and say--straight out--that we shouldn't be allowed to build anything on our property becasue it should be "open space".

    The audacity is...heartbreaking.

    The idea that other people shouldn't be able to do what they want with their own property--because I like it better when their property is vacant? So I can walk my dog on it (I've heard people actually say that.) or becasue I like to eat the free apples?

    If you care enough about that apple tree, then you should have outbid Whole Foods. Be the highest bidder, and you should be able to turn it into a freaking apple orchard if you want.

  • ||

    Ghetto? The pictures of the space in question didn't make it seem like it rises to the level of a functioning ghetto, even.

    I've long suspected that people in New York lose their sense of certain words...

    What looks like nice housing in the city to most New Yorkers looks like the ghetto to almost everyone else in the country. ...including people from Detroit.

    I know there are great restaurants in New York. I know the museums and theater and the opera is great, but how many times do you really go there a year? Enough to justify living in the ghetto?

    Somebody offers me a 50% raise to move to New York, I'm thinkin' to myself, "What good's money if I can't buy my way out of New York?"

    And the neighborhoods varying in quality from block to block, isn't that pretty typical of just about everywhere in New York?

  • ||

    Don't get me wrong.

    New York's alright.

    ...if you like saxophones.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q_odSgDQeE

  • ||

    My Mother was involved in the early part of the preservation movement, when Historic Preservation meant trying to change tax laws so that it wasn't three times more profitable to tear down a historically important building and use it for paid parking than it was to refurbish it. By the mid 1970's she was already a lone voice, trying to defend the legitimacy of the idea that some buildings were bug-ugly when they were built, have no historical significance of note, and could be replaced with a cinderblock bunker to the net beautification of their neighborhood.

    Needless to say, she was considered a kook.

    Some people will preserve ANYTHING.

  • ||

    Will Whole Foods Destroy Brooklyn?

    If by "destroy", you mean "bring socially responsible food to Brooklyn without union labor"...?

    If by "destroy" you mean "bring awesome prepared food that's clearly labeled for allergy sufferers"...?

    If by "destroy" you mean "bring socially concerned, nutritionally obsessed hot chicks in yoga pants to the neighborhood"...?

    Then the answer is "yes". Brooklyn will be "destroyed".

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    If by "destroy" you mean "bring socially concerned, nutritionally obsessed hot chicks in yoga pants to the neighborhood"...?

    That reason alone is enough to bring Whole Foods on in.

  • ||

    Damn straight!

  • ||

    more to the point, does Whole Foods have a yoga pants department?

  • ||

    It seems to be a logical place to go after yoga.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Socially concerned hot chicks boycotted Whole Foods around 2008.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    No, those are the socially "outraged" chicks. There is a difference. Liberal though they may be, yoga pants wearing chicks don't give a shit that WF is run by a capitalist rather than a hippie nut who's out to destroy the korporit dominashun of TEH FUDE!!!

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    Your Whole Foods is better n' my Whole Foods, Ken S. The one near me is chock-a-block with semi-urban moms pushing double-wide strollers and driving Ford Explorer hybrids.

  • ||

    There's an old saying among poker players that goes, "If you've been playing for a few hands, and you still haven't figured out who the patsy is? Then the patsy is you."

    I'm just guessing here, Kristen, but if you've been walking around in a Whole Foods for a while, and you still haven't see the hot chick? Then there's a pretty good chance that the hot chick might be you.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    Well, that's nice n flattering, but I definitely ain't me! I'm the homeless-looking contrarian judgmental scowling one. But I'm nice to the employees.

  • Killazontherun||

    Damn good pick up line, Ken. Damn good.

  • CE||

    yes, if by destroy you mean "lefties will spend so much on groceries there they don't have any money left over to maintain their homes".

  • ||

    Lefties don't maintain, they sustain.
    The first acknowledges that things tend toward decay. The second is utopian.

  • Spoonman.||

    For some reason people line up and fill the parking lot when a Whole Foods opens in Houston.

    Five miles away from another Whole Foods.

  • ||

    It'll be better this time...

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    Meh, the new HEB Montrose Market is better but the new Whole Foods is a little closer to me so I still do some shopping there.

  • Fulton||

    What despicable kind of people shop at Whole Foods? Trader Joe's all the way!

  • Ex nihilo||

    What despicable kind of people shop at Whole Foods?

    Present.

    Unfortunately we don't have a Trader Joe's anywhere near us.

  • Zeb||

    Whole Foods is pretty great for meat and bulk goods.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Meat and Purple Potatoes.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I don't see why I should want to shop at one rather than the other. I diversify my purchases among Schnucks, Albertsons, Walmarts, and the crappy "family owned" shop down the block. If I bought granola, it would make sense to do the same at those hoity toity places.

  • Cheezit||

    Everything I buy at Trader Joe's goes bad the next day. Maybe it's just my local store, but I'm sticking with Whole Foods.

  • ||

    Jezebel almost gets it. But you take what you can get.

    I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living! I too was at the 9th Street Playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.

    Oh, good god. Yes, let's ban the sale of ice cream within 100 yards of schools and playgrounds. You are seriously furious that someone is trying to make a living in your vicinity?
  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    When my kids see other kids get ice cream, they just start begging me.

    When my kids were 4, they could get away with asking for something twice. If I didn't want them to have it, the first answer was "No, not today" and the second answer was "No, and if you ask me again you won't get it the next time either, even if I feel like letting you have it."

    When kids beg, I don't blame the kids or the ice cream vendor, I blame the empty-headed, spineless parents.

  • ||

    My parents were the same way. If I asked over and over, there was no way I was going to be getting that ice cream. My mom was always appalled of parents that let their kids grow into whiners and tantrum-throwers. You have to let them know early on that there are rules to asking for things, and asking for them too much is a big no no.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    When my kids see other kids get ice cream, they just start begging me.

    When my kids were 4, they could get away with asking for something twice. If I didn't want them to have it, the first answer was "No, not today" and the second answer was "No, and if you ask me again you won't get it the next time either, even if I feel like letting you have it."

    When kids beg, I don't blame the kids or the ice cream vendor, I blame the empty-headed, spineless parents.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    wtf

  • ||

    YOu have angered the squirrel gods.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I can't stand hearing the same thing three times.

  • ||

    Why not?

  • Juice||

    I too was at the 9th Street Playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.

    To be fair, this is a legit gripe.

  • Zeb||

    Sure. And the proper response is to give it back refuse to pay for it.

  • Juice||

    It seems like it was free in the first place (only the first one is free and then you're hooked, right?) and that the mom was some distance away. But, it seems to me that you shouldn't just go around handing things to random 4-year-olds in the park.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I guess so. Handing out stuff to other people's young children is a pretty dickish move.

  • ||

    dammit juice, I'm like 10 posts behind you.

    But, it seems to me that you shouldn't just go around handing things to random 4-year-olds in the park.

    Yeah, doesn't seem like the smartest business model does it?

  • Killazontherun||

    True that. I would have taken the cone from my nineteen month old and ate it myself while I enjoyed the view of a confused and possibly angry vendor watching my kid cry.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    This is reasoning that leads to "must be a certain age to purchase..." laws. Children can make autonomous decisions, and are part of the market. The ice cream transaction is legitimate.

  • ||

    Children can make autonomous decisions, and are part of the market. The ice cream transaction is legitimate.

    If the child walked up to a vendor and requested an ice cream, sure.

    If the vendor is just handing out ice creams to passing children, then expecting them to pay up, not so sure.

    It's kinda like credit card offers, which are only acceptable because, as an adult, you should know what you're getting into when someone hands your the "unpaidfor merch".

    Unless you think that children should be allowed to apply for credit cards, calling the "hand-off then charge" sales method a valid transaction is a bit disingenuous.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    It was a free ice cream, the vendor didn't expect any payment.

  • ||

    Fuck that.

    If you start handing out ice cream that I neither requested nor paid for, then guess what, It's Free Ice Cream Day, bitches.

  • Zeb||

    I was assuming that they didn't want their kid to have the ice cream.

  • ||

    I'm not sure what the situation was anymore.

    If a vendor is trying to score sales by handing ice cream to kids whose parents haven't requested or paid for said ice cream...well, tough shit. If the parent doesn't want their kid eating that (now) free icecream, well, that's their own business.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The parent can be the dick, and take the ice cream away. The vendor does not owe the parent anything.

  • Jerryskids||

    I assumed the kid was being raised vegan. Or lactose-intolerant. Or allergic to something that might be in the ice cream. Or being punished.

  • Brandon||

    I actually thought the Jezebel writer was pretty reasonable there.

  • ||

    It's all the other cases in which they will refuse to apply the logic of liberty they can obviously display on select topics that I'm commenting on.

  • ||

    What does God say about Whole Foods Kennedy?

  • ||

    "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

    ----Genesis 1:29 KJV

    I'd say he thinks it's a go.

    Incidentally, that's the verse Rastafarians quote to justify the use of ganga. Ganga, Whole Foods: it works for a lot of things.

  • Brandon||

    Ganja?

  • ||

    You knew what I meant.

  • ||

    "Ganga" is the slang the cool kids use. Too bad you didn't know that, but it's too late now. No ganga for you.

  • ||

    "Incidentally, that's the verse Rastafarians quote to justify the use of ganga."
    That's when I always say God also gave us poison oak, shouldn't you be smoking that too.

  • ||

    If Whole Foods would just sell PBR, then they'd be welcome in Brooklyn with open arms.

  • Rhywun||

    Wrong part of Brooklyn.

  • ||

    Wait, you're telling me Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg are different?!?

  • ||

    aaaaah, such distinctions only matter to people who are ever in Brooklyn. Namely, not me.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    PBR? With Brooklyn Brewing Company nearby? Blasphemy!

  • o3||

    and also play obscure brit bands on a retro boom box

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    everytime I think I'm out, you pull me back in Orrin.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    IIRC, Whole Foods in Winter Park (Orlando) does sell PBR.

  • ||

    POOR Magazine, for the poverty porn lovers in all of us.

    POOR Magazine is a poor people led/indigenous people led, grassroots non-profit,arts organization dedicated to providing revolutionary media access, art, education and advocacy to silenced youth, adults and elders in poverty across the globe.
    All of POOR's programs are focused on providing non-colonizing, community-based and community-led media, art and education with the goals of creating access for silenced voices, preserving and degentrifying rooted communities of color and re-framing the debate on poverty, landlessness, indigenous resistance, disability and race locally and globally.
  • Charlotte Corday||

    When you just need a daily refill of smug.

  • ||

    Can someone please run that paragraph through a de-fuckheadpomofier for me please?

    I keep reading it over and over and it keeps coming up jibberish.

  • Socialistic Individual Sparky||

    That's a relief, I thought it was just me.

  • ||

    oh yeah, oh yeah, kill all the white man

  • ||

    Fair trade light reading for dipshits. It's an idea whose time has come.

  • Zeb||

    Non-colonizing media?

    I'm becoming more and more convinced that no one does more to keep racism alive than many supposed anti-racists.

  • ||

    Doubling down on the Proudhonistic fallacy is hip right now.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'd bet, being that poor people are the demographic, that this magazine won't sell many copies.

    Then the editors will yell market failure.

  • ||

    But- this will disrupt the Status quo, which is abhorrent to the Liberal Zookeeper mentality.

  • o3||

    cause food is republican?

  • ||

    I wish I'd known food was Republican a long time ago.

  • ||

    The liberals are conservatives when the status quo is hipster poverty.

  • l0b0t||

    Oh Jeebus, where to begin. First of all, the Whole Foods is not being built in Park Slope, it is being built in nearby Gowannus at the corner of 3rd avenue and 3rd street (a very polluted, dilapidated, former manufacturing neighborhood). The neighborhood currently consists of a few car repair shops, a U-Haul rental/self-storage facility, a couple of dive bars, 2 new hotels (Holiday Inn and Days Inn), a giant Islamic cultural center and school, and hundreds of vacant buildings and empty lots. The Whole Foods will have to compete with a giant Pathmark supermarket 9 blocks away (in Gowannus), a giant Fairway supermarket 1/2 mile away in Red Hook, and the 6 or 7 Key Foods, A&P, Savingsmart, D'Agastino, Union Market supermarkets on 4th 5th and 7th ave. in addition to the wholly overpriced and ideologically addled Co-Op on Union st.

  • ||

    Yeah but just imagine the howls of outrage in the Co-op. Yummy!

    Everytime I see one of their smug walkers with their retarded vests I want to punch them.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Isn't Co-Op just another word for private club?

  • ||

    Technically a co-op is an alternative to a normal company, i.e. it is member-owned and decisions are taken by mutual consent.

    This can work very well but not if you have 15,000 members who all work 2,75 hours/month. That's just insane.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You're saying they don't need an average of at least 55 people at work every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

  • Isaac Bartram||

    The Whole Foods will have to compete with a giant Pathmark supermarket 9 blocks away (in Gowannus), a giant Fairway supermarket 1/2 mile away in Red Hook, and the 6 or 7 Key Foods, A&P, Savingsmart, D'Agastino, Union Market supermarkets on 4th 5th and 7th ave. in addition to the wholly overpriced and ideologically addled Co-Op on Union st.


    Except for the co-op I suspect all of those competitors are uninonized and that if you follow the money that these " community activists" and "preservationists" are getting the path leads right to the the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    One of the things that I wonder about with "preservationists", though is that while I realize that while most of them are probably just self-righteous busybodies with no assets, some of them are pretty well healed and quite capable of pooling their money and buying up the properties they want to "preserve" instead of spending it on campaigns to get politicos to vote public money to do it.

  • T||

    Ding. Although in Houston, it's basically the rich people not wanting cheaper housing to go up in their neighborhood. As near as I can tell, 'historic distict' in Houston is code for 'don't subdivide existing lots and build townhouses'.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Unionized grocery store workers? Really? Coming from an area of the country which is sane when it comes to labor rules (Florida and Kentucky), I am shocked to hear that bag boys and cashiers feel the need for union membership.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I once paid union dues for a part-time, minimum wage job I worked after school. Cleaning the machines that turned out Marsh Wheeling Stogies during my senior year of high school. That factory is now closed, and the stogies are being made in right-to-work Indiana.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    mad libertarian guy

    You'd be surprised how many stores are unionized in Fla.

    Or, at least, used to be. Most seem to have closed down over the last thirty years.

    The only major presences in the Orlando area now seem to be Albertsons (union), Publix (employee-owned) and of course evil old non-union Walmart.

    There are a bunch of Aldi and Sav-a-Lot stores but I consider them second tier.

  • l0b0t||

    While the cost of living in NYC is pretty high, food is not a contributing factor. Groceries in Brooklyn are significantly less expensive than other places I have lived (FL, CA, LA, CO, Netherlands, Germany, Korea). There is no food desert anywhere in Brooklyn. This is very much a case of unions (United Food and Commercial Workers and others) trying to extract rents.
    FUCK THIS 900 CHARACTER LIMIT! FUCK IT IN THE ASS WITH A BIG RUBBER DICK!!!

  • Brandon||

    It might be easier to live with if you didn't waste 60 characters bitching about it.

  • ||

    Fuck you, Sugarfree. I'm not interested in what the Bolsheviki are talking about.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Since no one can afford to live in Williamsburg, isn't Brooklyn the epicenter of the epicenter of the hipster apocalypse these days?

  • ||

    This question makes no sense. What part(s) of Brooklyn are you talking about?

  • Charlotte Corday||

    I thought the hipsters were priced out of Williamsburg by the investment bankers are have been reduced to living in parts of Brooklyn.

  • ||

    Williamsburg is part of Brooklyn.

    People who know nothing about NYC shouldn't make comments about neighborhoods in NYC.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    I thought Williamsburg was in Manhattan. Learn something new every day.

  • Franco||

    I know someone who is NOT hip. ;)

  • o3||

    bushwick is teh new, yet still run-down wburg w lotsa 40's n 9's

  • ||

    Few hipsters in Park Slope. Instead you get lots and lots of breeders, aka the stroller mafia.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    I thought that was the upper east side.

  • Franco||

    NYC is a big place. We have multiple yuppy, hipster, gay and ghetto areas.

  • ||

    We have multiple yuppy, hipster, gay and ghetto areas.

    Sounds....great.

  • Rhywun||

    We even have boring middle-class areas - like the one I live in. In Brooklyn, no less.

  • ||

    So basically, even the parts of NY that don't suck, suck.

  • Franco||

    Where's the super awesome place that you're living?

  • Brandon||

    I get to live in Denver.

  • ||

    Where's the super awesome place that you're living?

    I never claimed my area was super awesome. That'll have to wait till I build my migratory island out of 2L bottles and start a pirate clan.

  • o3||

    that sounds like a good krewe theme at mardi gras

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Central KY.

    A place where my son and I can go shoot the pellet gun on my 5 acres, and when he goes to bed I can either drive the 15 minutes to the Lexington Whole Foods without fear of self righteous hipsters telling me I'm killing the neighborhood identity by shopping there, or I can go and frolic naked in the yard playing wild sex games with my wife.

    And no one gives a fuck.

    I don't even have to worry about bed bugs.

  • l0b0t||

    Midwood? ;)

  • ||

    Meh, not so much. The UES kind of reflects the old Yogi Berra quip: "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded". Everyone has migrated to Brooklyn thinking they're going to save big money on rent. Now, rent in much of Brooklyn compares to the UES. The thing is, now everyone wants to go to Brooklyn because it is hip. You can still save in Brooklyn, but it entails an hour-and-a-half commute on the R train.

  • Rhywun||

    Not if you work on Wall St :)
    About 45min for me, door to door.

  • l0b0t||

    HA!! I too have been unable to purchase a hot beverage at the Tea Lounge because it is jammed tight with mommies. Also, the Barnes & Noble aisles are, per the mandate in the Americans with Disabilities Act, 39" apart but that is still too narrow to accommodate today's giant tank-like strollers so one hears a constant litany of bellyaching from the moms while one is trying to complete a purchase.

  • ||

    Nannypalooza!

  • ||

    aisles are, per the mandate in the Americans with Disabilities Act, 39" apart but that is still too narrow to accommodate today's giant tank-like strollers

    Has anyone found the part of the PPACA that mandates larger aisles for the strollers that hold your 26yrold kids?

  • Geoffrey Nathan||

    Whole Foods is certainly taking chances these days. They are also planning to put one on the edge of the Wayne State campus, which is smack in the middle of midtown Detroit (about a mile from where I'm sitting now). There are derelict buildings, but also a large university campus with an enormous medical school, and eight or nine large urban hospitals--I'm guessing that's what they are counting on. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.
    The community activists haven't got started yet, and it's probably too late now.

  • ||

    The Park Slope Co-op is the most insane food retailer since the wall came down.

    When we moved to PS we wanted to check out their store. Turns out they don't let you do that without a 2 hour indoctrination session.

    They have 15,000 members and each and everyone has to work 2.75 hours per month. Inefficiency? Was ist das?

    They have walkers ffs; people that will attend you while you walk your cart back home and then return it to the Co-op. But it's all good because you get to wear an ornage vest.

    Fuck the Co-op.

  • l0b0t||

    We recently (last month) said FUCK OFF to the Slope and moved out to the Rockaways. Our rent went down by about 30% and we have more than double the square footage of our 7th ave. hellhole with the Honeymooners view of the brick wall from our windows. It is now (by train) an hour into the city instead of 30 minutes but I live on the ocean and get to surf almost every day.
    Also, fuck the Co-Op!

  • ||

    Interesting.

    I don't think that would be feasible for us as we both work in Midtown. Friends of ours just boight a house in Bed-Stuy. Hmm.

  • l0b0t||

    Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights is getting much better and is rather attractive (Prospect Heights as well). We looked at some very nice places a couple blocks away from Eastern Parkway (on both sides) but the siren call of the seashore was too strong for this 5th generation Florida native to ignore. Wifey works in Downtown Brooklyn so she has a bit of a commute but I'm in television production and work in different locations for every job so I always have a commute no matter where we live.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    "Turns out they don't let you do that without a 2 hour indoctrination session."

    P.J> O'Rourke wrote a magazine piece about taking a vacation in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. It was like a Gray Line tour filled with red diaper babies. The same kind of people who run the CoOp.

  • ||

    I'm German and visited both East Germany and Russia before '89. These guys creep me out and not only because of the inefficiency. You have to also accept the rigid ideology and petty regulations that worked to such great effect in the eastern bloc.

    Thus you have purity debates about boycotting Israel and the walkers I referenced are not allowed to reas or listen to music while they wait. Disgusting.

  • ||

    They have 15,000 members and each and everyone has to work 2.75 hours per month.

    Pretty typical for food co-ops. I did my time in one, although there was no indoctrination session. Best way for the new guy in town to find out who knows somebody who knows somebody . . . herbal.

  • ||

    Did you see the bit the daily show did on the co-op. Fucking hilarious. The level of cognitive dissonance was astounding.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    What part of Brooklyn is Peter Luger in? Cause that's the only part I'm interested in. Meat!

  • ||

    Williamsburg.

    While you're there pay a isit to my friends at 'Fette Sau':

    http://www.fettesaubbq.com/

    BBQ by the pound + beer + whisky. Awesome.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    Mmmmmm.....more meat!

  • l0b0t||

    Thanks for mentioning Fette Sau, it is the only high-end BBQ place I have been that rivals New Orleans' wonderful Cochon (http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/). When it comes to down home BBQ though, the champion is and will always be Shiver's in Homestead, Fl. For 62 years they have been making the best BBQ on Earth (http://shiversbbq.com/).

  • ||

    naming a restaurant "Pig".....I might just cry.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    Wait - high end? BBQ & high end don't compute. Anyways, my parents live in North Carolina, so I don't really have a need for NY BBQ.

  • ||

    BBQ & high end don't compute.

    "high end" = "little/no country music", I'm guessing.

  • l0b0t||

    By high-end I meant they serve food on ceramic plates and provide utensils. For me true BBQ is served on paper plates and eaten with one's hands (with a roll of paper towels on the table).

  • ||

    paper plates are probably illegal, per a bloomberg-mandate.

  • Brandon||

    Best BBQ on earth? I take it you've never been to Texas then?

  • Gray Ghost||

    And it starts. Good, it's been awhile since a BBQ thread. Looking at Fette Sau's prices: $16/lb for brisket and pulled pork shoulder? Well, it is NYC, I guess. I wonder how it compares to the best of Carolina, Texas, or Memphis?

    Scrolling down, I see we're getting the pizza thread up and running. One of my favorite reasons for visiting this board.

  • l0b0t||

    I have family in the Lone Star State (Round Rock, Denton) and even lived for awhile in lovely El Paso. Texas BBQ is great but they fail this Southron's BBQ test because they cook the wrong animal. BBQ, to me, means pig. Only pig, never cow, and for fuck's sake, never chicken.

  • Brandon||

    Fair enough. But I'll take what the Salt Lick in Austin can do with a brisket over anything else I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Besides, pigs are filthy animals.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I do like the Salt Lick, but you really should try Franklin BBQ in Austin, Kreuz Market or Smitty's in Lockhart or Louie Mueller's in Taylor. For Franklin, go during the week, as the wait otherwise is absolutely ridiculous. (~1.5 hours +, even for to-go!)

    If I'm ever in Homestead, FL, I'll give Shiver's a try. The Peter Lugar lunch tip is a treat. I've wanted to try them for awhile now.

  • T||

    I am meat agnostic when it comes to BBQ, but my wife is a staunch advocate of the Texas definition. I find the distinctions largely meaningless.

  • Jerryskids||

    I went to Texas once. It must have been the bad part of Texas 'cause they thought bbq was made out of cows.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Bullshit.

    Shrivers is good, but not great.

  • l0b0t||

    Williamsburg is home to Peter Luger's and here is a secret treat - go for lunch, no dress code, no reservations and the burger (one of the best burgers you will ever eat) is only $8.00.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    They still only take cash or a Luger credit card, no?

    I haven't been to NY in a few years. I have been kind of planning a "food tour" for a while now, and Luger is on the list, along with about 10 different pizza places.

    You just can't get NY style pizza in the DC area. You bastards don't know how lucky you are to have easy access!

  • l0b0t||

    As long as your pizza list includes Tottono's (the one on Coney Island owned by Cookie, not the Manhattan location that licenses use of her name), all is well.

  • ||

    Wut? No Di Fara! Heresy!

  • l0b0t||

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. DiFara is quite good and should not be given short shrift but Tottono's is my favorite (Wifey's dad grew up with Cookie and her late husband so we eat there quite often.) NY has plenty of good pizza places, a select few great pizza places, and many hundreds of awful nightmarish pizza places. ALL of which are better than those ketchup in a breadbowl abominations that Chicagoans try to convince us are actually pizza.

  • ||

    Kidding, never been to Di Fara. I am simply not going to stand in line for two hours for a pizza.

    Totonno's is great.

  • Karburetor Kristen||

    If you think Chicago pizza is miserable, you need to come to the mid-Atlantic, where ALL pizza is miserable. We have lots of chains - Dominos, CPK, Uno, Hut, et al - and some local places, but all of it is shite. Cakey crusts, bad sauce, nasty cheese. The best I've found (and it's a reasonable approximation since the owners appear to be real-life New Yorkers) is this place.

  • ||

    the mid-Atlantic, where ALL pizza is miserable.

    Sole D'italia, MontCo, MD.

    It probably doesn't meet any regional-purist standards, but if I could actually manage making pizza at home, I would try and make it like theirs.

  • l0b0t||

    Cook's Illustrated has a great recipe for the dough and a pizza stone (absolutely necessary in a home oven) can be had for less than $20 at the Bed Bath Beyond. Alternatively, if there is a pizza place near you that you like, they will usually be more than happy to sell you some dough. Please do try to make it at home, it is a wonderful family dinner experience. Hell, if you want to get extra fancy, basil and tomatoes are easy to grow in most climates and mozzarella is an extremely easy cheese to make at home.

  • ||

    lobot, when I got a stand mixer, I tried all sorts of dough projects, with varying levels of success. At the time though, I lacked a thermometer and scale, without which, good homemade dough is a coin-toss for a noob like me. I've since gotten the other tools, but haven't gotten around to re-trying my hand at bread/pizza.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You'd think that Central KY is a bad place for pizza, but we have ACTUAL NY Style pizza that is really fucking good.

    We used to have 2 great spots, but one was run by such an inept businessman that he couldn't keep a pizza joint that was packed all the time open.

  • o3||

    im checkin that out my next visit

  • Franco||

    They were still cash only when I went 2 years ago.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I do like both of those buildings. They should be preserved, by their owners.

  • ||

    OT: What the sweet monkey fuck? This is when I reach Stage 5 Acceptance and welcome our Asteroid Destroyer overlord to wipe us all out.

  • ||

    "I'm Han Solo, Solo"

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Really? It's infinitely more cool than the Star Wars Holiday Special.

  • l0b0t||

    I think the Holiday Special gets a pass because it featured the first appearance of Boba Fett. That goes a long way towards countering the presence of Bea Arthur, Art Carney, and Jefferson Starship.

  • ||

    Kennedy's looking good, even in that hipster out fit. Still want to hit it.

  • Almanian||

    You can have her when I'm done.

  • ||

    At least it's not WalMart! Because we all know, WalMart is the epitome if all evil, daring to offer goods people want at prices that they can afford! How dare they!?!

  • ||

    I'm glad I live in Mississippi, where we don't have this nonsense.

  • Almanian||

    Brooklyn or Whole Foods?

    Or both?

  • Rhywun||

    I can assure you that 90% of Brooklyn doesn't give a shit; would in fact welcome the store. It's that last 10% that give the rest of us a bad name - every time....

  • Bilbo||

    I thought it was the 1% vs the 99%?

  • Dan||

    What a couple of morons.

    This reminds me of my aunt and uncle years ago after they somehow went off the deep end and decided they were going to be crusaders against a power line the county was planning to run because it was going to give us all cancer and cause every pregnant woman within a mile to have a miscarriage.

    If we listened to morons like this nothing would ever get done and most of what had already been done would be eliminated.

  • ||

    If they mange to pay off all the right politicians they might.

    www.Surf-Tools.tk

  • EpicDelusion||

    Fuckin' Weigmans! I mean, wholefoods! yeah.. wait, who are we mad at?

  • Bilbo||

    If those crazy ole folks gave a shit that precious building behind them wouldnt look like its one swing away from a condemnation order and a wrecking ball.

  • Thomas||

    We're getting a(nother) new Wal-mart nearby, and some lady wrote into the paper complaining about the small businesses in the surrounding area closing. It honestly sounded like she thought the reason that happened was because Wal-mart pays their workers to pull off incredibly complicated heists on competitors during their lunch break.

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