Please Buy This Gentrification-Kit!

Hey, did we know that some neighborhoods have corner stores, which sell foodstuffs? The Bodega Party in a Box is a tool from the Neighbors Project, which is "is a growing movement of a generation of people living in cities who want to connect with their diverse neighbors to improve the neighborhood for everyone." OK, let's withhold judgment until we take a look inside Pandora's bodega-box, shall we?

Inside the box is a "Bodega Cookbook," all about how to "eat well from your corner store." There's a silkscreened reusable shopping bag, party invites, and "Corner store-style flags - aka, perfect party decoration." It's $25 and part of the proceeds go to the Food & Liquour Project, which is meant to encourage people to buy at small stores and also encourage those stores to carry more produce.

Please Buy This Gentrification-Kit!


To answer the question of "Why?"

"Eating out every night can get expensive. If you are known to get hungry and are a slave to convenience, then it's the no-brainer since corner stores are usually right down the block and full of ... food. Most of us aren't able to anticipate every single grocery need during our weekly mega-shopping trips to the big grocery store/farmers market/etc. Plus, independent corner stores usually help recycle money back into the neighborhood by hiring locally and helping out local folks and groups with informal arrangements."

Cute, it's like they are teaching the kids how to be urban!

As far as the "help recycle money back into the neighborhood by hiring locally and helping out local folks" thing goes—it's true, any job is a good job when you're unemployed. But let's acknowledge the way the many undocumented workers at delis, bodegas, etc. are often treated. Twelve-hour, six-day-a-week shifts are the norm in NYC, and they're sometimes paid below minimum wage and taken advantage of in ways that documented workers wouldn't be. Also, they send a lot of money back to their home countries. All I'm trying to say is: the bodega ecosystem is incredibly complicated.

Anyway, NYC the Blog summed up their feeling on the Bodega Party Box with this:

"Don't forget to invite the bodega owners, I'm sure they would love to come to a party where you pretend that being a hardworking immigrant in a foreign country is cause for a hipster party, while you eschew your daily purchase of coffee with warm milk for $1.00 at the bodega, instead opting to buy a book and some flags from somewhere else."

Previously on Gawker: Ghetto Pass: the Corner Bodega
Ghetto Pass: The Ghetto Chinese Spot