Culture

Even in lockdown, New Yorkers won’t eat certain things

I am going to admit something I probably shouldn’t. While working certain days from home this past week, I finally put my stove on. I’ve been in this apartment four months. And, I put it on not to cook. I, instead, put it on to heat a freshly made soup I had delivered. New Yorkers (and I’m a die hard one) live odd lives. We carry couches onto the subway and buy Christmas trees out on a sidewalk and then drag them home. We walk our dogs three times a day and let them have complete run of the house. We treat them like babies. Sidewalks are our exercise venues. We buy groceries in small amounts and do so several times a week. We sometimes buy very ripe fruit out on the street for just a dollar or two. You get it. We live a very “new economy” yet old school life.

As a result of our old ways of living, this Coronovirus shut down has taken us out of our speedwalking world into a world where we are isolated in 400 square feet apartments. You can imagine how stir-crazy New Yorkers are these days. I myself put on my healthcare worker identification badge and went out for a walk. And, not many were around. It was mostly people walking their dogs. Those dogs are used to their three walks a day. They don’t know about social distancing.

As I quickly walked, I thought of all the photographs I had seen of empty store shelves. I’ve also seen photographs of those odd grocery items that no one, even in a so-called scarcity situation, want to buy. Apparently, people don’t want to make lasagna from scratch. I understand that. Also, pinto beans appear to not be selling out. Yes, I think we all get that one. New York apartments are small and pinto beans may not be appreciated in small shared spaces, months at a time. Buzzfeed noted that cheddar cheese ramen was not flying off the shelves. That one I might actually try. I’m of the belief that cheese makes everything better. Salads are mot on my list of things to buy. No way would I want to be in lockdown longing for a better world munching on salad. Give me something more fun. Apparently, other New Yorkers feel the same.

There are many things that curmudgeon New Yorkers are going to be finicky about. We have the highest number of cases in the United States. We want real comfort food. That’s what it comes down to. I will note that during my walk I stopped at a local market. There was no shortage or empty shelves. Don’t let the photos of people at Costco hoarding a 1000 pounds of meat fool you. In the city, we are good. Even if we are a bit picky. I’ll still try that cheddar ramen.

8 replies »

  1. It’s been amazing here in the Midwest to see the empty shelves, but then I realized, it’s not necessarily because of panic buying, at least not entirely. There are many people who legitimately never cook at home, who now need supplies so they can do so. I’m fortunate to have long been a fairly dedicated home cook, with a tendency to bulk shop and a full deep freezer so I haven’t had to get caught up in too much of the panic, at least not on that score. And actually, in order to support local business trying to adapt to a new normal, we’ve been eating a lot more carryout than we normally would. I assume we’ll continue to do so while we can. Take care of yourself!

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  2. In LA if found it interesting to see what had been bought out and what had not. All the wheat products were gone but 20 lb. sacks of rice were still n the shelves. Regular bread and tortillas were all gone but other ethnic breads like lavash and pita and bagels were still there.

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  3. Thanks for sharing what New York is going through. Here is Mississippi, the lasagna noodles are also left on the shelf. Pintos, however, have long been gone. I went to my local Indian market and picked up rice today…they still have lots of it. The popular grocery stores can’t seem to keep it in stock. Don’t get me started on toilet paper or any other sanitary item. Sheesh!

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