Bodega Discourse is Downstream From the Fact That No One is Particularly Interesting
but, like, who cares man
I have lived in New York City for six years this September, Brooklyn specifically. It’s difficult to separate your impression of a place from your feelings about your life at that time, and much of the past six years have been hard. But Brooklyn is a pleasant place with a lot of advantages, and it’s also ludicrously expensive and frequently loud and dirty, and I’ll enjoy it while I’m here and eventually move away, I suspect. In those six years I’ve had two primary corner stores - or bodegas in the nomenclature common to New Yorkers - and have been vaguely friendly with several of the proprietors. This amounts to knowing their first names, smiling, saying hi, them occasionally spotting me when I’m a dollar short. In other words, they’ve been perfectly normal cordial acquaintances of the type you might have with someone who’s at work. I feel like it would be bizarre for me to expect more from those relationships than that, and I feel like it would be off-putting to the bodega guys if I acted like it was more than that. Awkwardly chatting about sports to deepen the “bond” would, in addition to being unpleasant, amount to fetishizing human beings for my own purposes. When I moved to a new neighborhood I didn’t go say goodbye to my bodega guys and I think if I had it would have been a horridly awkward experience for them.
It’s cool if you’re closer to employees of businesses you frequent! But the notion that there is something inherent to the bodega and exclusive to New York that inspires such relationships is bizarre and, I suspect, compels people to affect a forced jocularity with people who are at work and probably don’t need the hassle.
Ah, but! I am doing going to the store wrong. Check out these headlines, all from the last few years.
There’s more. I wonder why so many people find New Yorkers self-involved!