New York City, as if it wasn't always difficult enough to find decent places to buy groceries, has lost a lot of grocery stores in the past few months.
Sure, we don't cook that often in our own kitchens, but the dangers of these closures, and how much they contribute to building food deserts, where purchasing foods with any respectable level of nutritious value, is important to note.
Recently, the grocery industry has been hit hard by unreasonable increases in rent prices, the bankruptcy of major grocery chains like A&P and The Great Atlantic Pacific Tea Company, and the turnover of these spaces into large residential developments.
Though a majority of the closures occurred in Brooklyn to make way for residential space, the closures have affected all of NYC.
Groceries have become almost unavailable in certain areas due to these closures.
Some of this has been self-inflicted, yet more often than not it's because these places simply can't compete with what's coming.
Take the Fairway Supermarket. They're looking to close down for good because of a healthy dose of toxic business dealings and Trader Joe's springing to life on the UWS.
While they were expected to restructure most of their 15 stores, with their UWS location expected to endure the struggles, it looks like things are only going to get worse for them because, well, another Trader Joe's opening on the UWS, according to The Real Deal.
If the plan pans out, the new Trader Joe's will open on the bottom floor of a 30-story condominium tower at 670 Columbus Avenue. The lease, which amounts to $60.5 million for the 35,000 square foot space, is expected to be signed in the near future.
However, this Trader Joe's will be only four blocks away from an existing Whole Foods, and near the Trader Joe's on Broadway and West 72nd Street.
This should give you pause.
Supermarket chains like Key Foods and Pathmark are all but extinct across the country, but more devastatingly noticeable in areas of high need.
Remember Pathmark, East Harlem's first-ever supermarket closing at the end of last year? Yeah, so do we. More importantly, so do they.
This all begs the question of who truly benefits from Trader Joe's? These chains seem more focused on providing variety than actually providing solutions to consumers in need.
Sure, the folks able to afford these agreeably pricey chains might be happy with how this might cut down on line times, but what about the areas that have been left without access to groceries?
Instead of putting grocery stores right on top of one another, how about we spread them out to give people the ability to buy groceries without having to travel so far? Sounds crazy, right?
Call us progressive, but we think NYC is better served when there's equal access to places that provide for the fulfillment of basic human rights like, you know, food.
Check out This Study Reveals NYC Is One of the Least Happiest U.S. Cities to Work.[via Curbed] [Feature Image Courtesy SpoonUniversity.com]