I’ve lived in Manhattan long enough to remember the time when I could walk across town and find an authentic German bakery or Polish butcher. During the seventies, even my own neighborhood in the West 80’s was sprinkled with botanicas and bodegas. Now there’s just one restaurant after another, most of them mediocre and too expensive.
I have to face it: unless I’m in the mood to visit Chinatown, for an foreign fix I need to hop on the train and explore one of the boroughs.
Get off the E train at Roosevelt Avenue and you are suddenly in India–well, an American version of India. This gal was among many others wearing a sari, but check out the running shoes peeking out below the pants:
One of the great boons of visiting Jackson Heights is the many grocery stores selling all kinds of exotic produce and huge bags of basmati rice.
The prices are terrific, so The Sweetie and I always bring along a bookbag on wheels and usually come home with some exotic stuff that we’re not sure how to cook. Below the scallion roots, you’ll see some fresh turmeric:
We walked a few more blocks and suddenly found ourselves in a Peruvian neighborhood. We went into one bodega and discovered three different kinds of dried corn sold from bulk bins. Here’s one variety:
Then, on the way to the train, we spotted a huge Korean supermarket. What’s this? We held back and didn’t buy any, but we came home with pea shoots, Chinese broccoli, garlic chives, and fresh fish. And 3 bunches of scallions for $1!