Grocery shopping is hard in NYC — not unlike a lot of other common, day-to-day tasks. Since most New Yorkers don’t have cars, grocery shopping usually means going a few times a week, choosing to spread out heavier things like milk and laundry detergent over the various trips.
And the grocery stores here leave much to be desired, the average neighborhood grocery store having only the bare minimum with little variety (much less all-natural, organic options). Of course there’s a Trader Joe’s a few subway stops away and a Whole Foods in Manhattan but who has the time and energy for schlepping over there many times a week (schlepping being a technical term)?
Josh and my NYC experience has been a little different from others in that we have a car. But of course, parking in Manhattan is silly-ness, so we’ve resigned ourselves to driving to and taking advantage of the free parking at the nearby Stop ‘n Shop. But since Josh and I made the switch to all organic, all natural, and as-ethically-responsible-as-we-can-find food options, this has been a difficult change to enforce (blog post coming soon about our huge switcheroo).
A difficult change indeed until we discovered…
Land of Magic and Dreams and Sunshine…
And it happens to be right in the heart of the oft-underappreciated-but-pretty-darn-cool neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.
We had heard of Fairway before, but we just never managed to make it over there. Then
Hurricane Superstorm Sandy came (the b*tch) and did some serious damage to Fairway, closing it for a while. After it re-opened, Josh and I decided to make the short ten-minute drive over there one day.
Our epic drive:
It’s laid out in a maze-like way, and unless you’re paying attention, you could miss a whole section (like the awesome-sauce natural market, which we almost missed on our first trip out there).
When you first walk in, you go through the artisanal cheeses and meats, which Josh and I quickly pass through as we have no strong opinions on cheeses and meats and their artisinal-ality.
I could care less about coffee, but for the curious, they have buckets/bushels/big containers/whatever the technical term is, full of various varieties.
I don’t know. I feel that’s something most other people would probably care about (“Not I,” said the Courtney).
They also have a fancy-pants room with different vinegars and oils, complete with yellow lighting for preservation or something (can you tell I don’t really know what I’m talking about and I usually just buy what’s on sale?).
And the obligatory Wall o’ Granola ‘n’ Such.
Did I mention Fairway is perfect?
Lest I leave out any important bits with my rambling, I’m gonna turn it over to the pictures:
Fairway hung the moon. Obviously.
Oh, and the cherry on top: They have a food court complete with a chopped salads section.
And you can eat it right by the water in their dining area.
Did I mention a cherry on top already? Well, here are the holiday-colored sprinkles: The staff there is great. Like super friendly. And most of them are New Yorkers. Put it together: Friendly New Yorkers. I know it’s a bit of an oxymoron, but not at Fairway (for my New York readers, I love you and I’m sorry, but you know).
(I almost got a pic with my cashier, but then I chickened out at the last minute.)
Josh and I, being the major advocates for a better grocery shopping experience in NYC left that day on a high. For real-real. And we woke up the next day happily recalling our awesome Fairway experience from the day before.
I drank the Fairway Kool-Aid. I’m a goner.
And to my Atlanta readers who think I’m crazy and have been away from normal grocery stores for too long, listen: Fairway is the greatest supermarket ever. Take everything you love about Kroger and Publix and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and throw it all together with a view of the Statue of Liberty (did I mention there’s a view of the Statue of Liberty?) and you’ve got Fairway… FOR THE WIN.
Whenever I do leave Brooklyn, I will miss Fairway dearly. But in the meantime, I shall sing their praises.
So… If you live in or near Red Hook, BK, you’d better check it out. Run, don’t walk. It’s well worth a Zipcar trip to those who are vehicle-less (cause of course you can’t get to Red Hook by mass transit). And while you’re there, you can visit Ikea Brooklyn, too, just a half mile away. And you know how much I love my Ikea (as evidenced here and here).
And if you live too far away, then… Sorry boutcha. And you should be jealous. Like angry eyebrows jealous.
***P to the S: Y’all know I’m not paid or perked by Fairway. I just write this post out of the passionate love in my heart. Check out their website (and you can also help with the continual Sandy relief efforts): Fairway Red Hook website