There are three alleged grocery stores within easy walking distance: Whole Foods, Real Foods, and Trader Joe's. None of these three are high on my list of meat and vegetable related emporia. Reason being that all three are overpriced and cater to very bourgeois white people who quite clearly don't know beans about food.
There used to be a much more down to earth food store much closer to the apartment: Big Apple, at the intersection of Polk and Clay.
One could buy various dried noodles there, plus condiments, Asian sauces, fresh vegetables, liquor, and various items of an animal protein origin. As well as all the usual groceries that real people who cook real food might require. Nothing nearly as elite and pretentious as the fancy stuff that is sold (with a big serving of snootiness) by Whole Foods, Real Foods, and Trader Joe's.
There was also an ethnic market in between Clay and Washington on Polk, but once the young white dotcommies infested the street, it failed. Now there's a pizza place selling pie to tipsy twenty-somethings late at night.
And it's thriving.
Big Apple closed down a month ago.
The owners had decided to retire.
The neighborhood has changed.
The Korean store shut its doors in the early nineties, Cala Market closed in 2010 or 2011, the place with fresh vegetables in bins outside is now a pizza joint. Many other shops, most of them run by immigrants, have disappeared.
There are over half a dozen places within a three or four block radius where you can get six packs till two in the morning.
Some of them also have frozen pizza.
Or pizza pockets.
I have nothing against scum-sucking yuppie cretins; some of my best friends are scum-sucking yuppie cretins.
But nothing ruins a city like a whole host of them moving in and taking over.
There are three sushi places within two blocks of my digs.
If that isn't a sign of decay, what is?
And, as previously mentioned, not a single store that sells normal food. Unless you count Walgreens. Yet if I walk half a dozen blocks north, I will encounter a fancy coffee chain, coffee shops, several bars, two or three incredibly nouveau-type eateries, pizza, gourmet tacos, and a collection of the cutest little boutiques this side of Paris.
Several bars. I mentioned that.
Head south, and its three times as many bars as eateries, gradually fading into rebel-held territory when you get close to the Tenderloin.
We need a shop that carries rice stick noodles, egg noodles, wheat noodles, Italian noodles, bean thread noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut sauce, plum sauce, hoisin sauce, hot sauce, plates, bowls, cups, basins, pots and pans, wooden spoons, sieves, tea, whole bean coffee, insta-coffee, bread, buns, rusks, rolls, canned tomato sauces, gherkins, bread and butter pickles, dills, hot dog relish, spicy jalapeno relish, chili paste, miso, canned fish, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayo, horseradish, red wine, white wine, cooking sherry, pork chops, lamb chops, beef, chicken, sausages, ground meat, tofu, surimi, fish balls, fish steaks, onions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, parsley, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, yams, bell peppers, butternut squash, melons, baby bokchoi, Shanghai bokchoi, Napa cabbage, mustard greens, chard, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, bitter melon, tomatoes, green beans, long beans, red cabbage, lettuce, avocado, apples, oranges, bananas, lemons, limes, other fresh fruit in season as well as juices, and a small selection of salad dressings.
Jalapeño, Serrano, Annaheim, and Mulatto Isleño.
Thai peppers, de arbol, chiltepin.
Plus gallons of ice cream.
All at prices for real people.
No more than two blocks away.
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Labels: Polk Street