Sarah Goodyear had a thoughtful post on the topic yesterday at The Atlantic Cities titled "Battle Cry for the Bodega."
A few quick excerpts on the positive influence of the bodegas/delis... (she also points out their downsides, such as the less-than-sanitary conditions at some stores... but...)
[T]here’s no denying that the texture of the city would be flattened if the idiosyncratic bodega became an endangered species. Not so much because of what the stores sell as because of the larger role they play in the community.
As an example, she cites a friend, a single mom raising a 10-year-old son. They live across the street from a bodega ...
... where a group of regulars spends the whole day either out front (if the weather is good) or by the cash register. Sometimes they drink a bit much, it’s true. But they are a living example of the "eyes on the street" that Jane Jacobs loved to talk about. My friend’s son feels safe walking home from school because he knows those folks are watching out for him, always calling out to him by name as he passes by.
If that bodega became a 7-Eleven, it’s hard to imagine that the inspectors from corporate headquarters would want those guys in the picture. That would be their loss. And everyone else’s.
Read the whole piece here.
Also, we'll have more info later on Saturday's Bodega Walk with the No 7-Eleven Committee...
[File photo/Bobby Williams]