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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hipsters take from "Bodega", NYTimes provides PR

Yeh we are the world and we are the children. And that's all I need to know where I am in life. But then I read in the NY Times that the concept of "Bodega" has taken a "Star Turn" and I'm all befuddled.

Bodegas or the "corner store" as locals would also call it, have long been a star in New York's urban neighborhoods providing center stage for events grand, hysterical in their banalities and tragic. Yet after being defined for generations, the NY Times suddenly proclaims the Bodega is a star. Why? Simple. Cause some hipsters opened a very pleasing and convenient sounding store in Greenpoint called the Brooklyn Standard. Because what else would you call your business when you've been raised in California and Oregon. Then tragedy struck when even the consultants they had at hand couldn't come up with a convenient phrase to describe their convenient store. Suddenly they came up with the perfect word to define this amazing new business: "Bodega". And uh yeh, a star was born.

The best line comes from the guy Kate Zidar, who does the composting in this "Bodega:
"...to quote Kate Zidar, a Brooklyn Standard consultant whose duties include overseeing a worm-filled compost bin in the backyard, the word “bodega” has “superseded its origins.”"

Right, you can come up with that gem but you couldn't come up with an original description? Did you consult the worms?

Photo by John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times

Look at the picture, see these guys aren't Latino or Middle Eastern or Asian so there it is, the ever desired proof of clever through irony. I get it, it's like watching Sarah Palin wink. Thanks for bringing this to my attention NY Times, you're so hip. opps, wow there's irony everywhere, clean-up!

Least anyone misunderstand my rant, if you want to start a business and you're stuck for a way to promote it and you have a contact at the NYTimes, awesome, get money or in this case, Rock the Casbah. But IMO for the New York Times to essentially provide advertising space to a private business that has consultants, is appropriating something already in existence is unfortunate when you imagine the thousands if not millions of stories that go on in New York City every day. Even in Bodegas.

6 comments:

  1. The worms just INSISTED that I post a comment on behalf of "that guy" Kate Zidar, founder of The North Brooklyn Compost Project - http://northbrooklyncompostproject.wordpress.com

    Greenpoint-born Brooklynites will know that the impacts of the city's solid waste system are not shared equally by citizens in our fair borough. The waste from your bodega (you know that store on the corner?), your house, your restaurant and your office ends up being trucked, piled and transferred in OUR backyard. This means diesel fumes, stink, asthma attacks and pests.

    While it is easy to peg greening efforts in the Garden Spot as some cutesy trend of gentrification, I don't think the folks at St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corp, Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (formerly Neighbors Against Garbage) would take such a simplistic view.

    Garbage in North Brooklyn is no joke, and people have been dealing with it in creative ways up here. Why not come visit sometime!

    Kate Zidar

    ps. wanna guess where I was born?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad the worms have a vote in all this!

    I have nothing but joy in my heart for environmental consciousness, Kate Zidar, so thank you for the deeper information. Your efforts at recycling are needed and commendable.

    I'm not sure who you has called your greening efforts a "cutesy trend" but if you find them kick their asses. Such efforts of course are vital in neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Gowanus which have experienced environmental degradation for at least the last fifty years.

    As I am sure you understood from my post, I find the attempt at re-contextualizing the definition of "Bodega" interesting to say the least. As I wrote in the post it's not often that I find an article in the NY Times that shows such positive interest in a "Bodega".

    Again, my overall point is it would be great to hear about similar recycling efforts that are happening all over the city. Such as the composting going on in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Park Slope and beyond. http://www.nyccompost.org/resources/organizations.html

    So overall, I think it's a shame that the Times article didn't include as much useful information about your efforts at recycling, composting, etc as your post did.

    So, when will are meeting?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well the Brooklyn Standard, 188 Nassau Ave, opens to the public April 1! Ha! Shameless PR grab! Damn those hipsters!

    http://brooklynstandard.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-can-you-expect.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...Yeah sure. That's great and all, but what about the asthma and pests that are attracted to the state where the garbage REALLY ends up?

    http://gothamist.com/2009/03/11/north_brooklyn_trash_to_take_train.php

    I grew up in Virginia, with New York trash in my backyard.

    So where's MY "greening effort"? Where's the creative way of dealing with it for my house and my mother?

    Answer: Who cares, right? Because it's not by your 'bodega'.

    ReplyDelete
  5. True enough. That's a big part of the problem isn't it? Discarding without looking, one has to assume that whoever is on the receiving end of our literal crap is being paid handsomely. But what then do the politicans in dumpville drop all the refuse in their poor too?

    ReplyDelete
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