In my mind I go to the Union Square Farmer's market for seasonal produce and Murray's Cheese and that butcher next door on Bleecker and some amazing bakery for dinner rolls right out of their century-old oven. And I transport all this home on a bike with a basket while waiving to familiar shop keepers who are sweeping the sidewalk in front of their establishments.
In reality I make the trek to Trader Joe's once a fortnight and stand in the Soviet-style food check out line for mango chunks and frozen potstickers. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Trader Joe's to an obsessive degree, but it ain't Paris. Or New York. But what is?
If I were Carrie Bradshaw I would write, "Can one really find and live the New York of their imaginations and if so, does anyone have the time?"
Today I was strolling past Porto Rico Importing Company after a job interview and I decided to pop in. It is like popping back in time as well - a plus in my book. They have sacks and sacks of coffees and all at reasonable prices. I got an excellent French Columbian for $5.99/pound. This is not today's 12 oz, but a real old fashioned pound. The woman behind the counter was really nice and we spoke about the flat filter vs. the cone and if grinding to #4 was really as racey as it sounded.
Instead of getting the thrifty coffee special at Westside Market (which ain't half bad) I could stroll a few more blocks (key words: "a few more blocks") and get my coffee from a purveyor that has been around over a century.
What will it be?