Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Grocery Myth

One of the horrible burdens any person living in Detroit faces is dealing with suburbanites who inevitably (and sometimes immediately) ask, "Where do you shop for groceries??"   And answering that question is, honestly, super annoying.  First of all, I have to repeat something I've said a hundred times.  And secondly, I am forced to think the person I am talking to is an idiot, which makes me feel like I am wasting my time.

Jim Griffioen, my across-the-park neighbor from when I lived in Lafayette Park who writes the super excellent Sweet Juniper blog, has taken a little time out to address that question, and you can read about it on the Urbanophile blog here.

And if you aren't going to read the whole thing, at least read this:

The myth of a city without supermarkets is hard to kill, even faced with the evidence above. Ultimately, that myth perseveres because the mainstream media and its audience is steeped in a suburban mentality where the only grocery stores that really seem to count are those large, big-box chain stores that are the only option in so many communities these days, largely because they have put locally-owned and independent stores like the ones you find in Detroit out of business.

I'm not much of an at-home cook so the grocery question wasn't even on my radar when I moved here.  But to answer everyone's question, I have been a regular shopper at Harbortown Market, Honeybee Market and oh yeah, that place basically across the street from Lafayette Park - Eastern Market.  And sometimes I like to shop at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods so I drive there. But I would never base my decision to live somewhere (or my quality of life) on proximity to one of those.


DetroitDad said...

For organic, I really like Kim's Produce, on Woodward Avenue in Midtown. For everything else, I generally head to Food Pride on Warren, near I-75. They have my, oh-so-hard-to-find Silk (soy milk).

Xylia said...

Hi! I found your blog from iamyoungdetroit and started reading the archives. I am so glad I was introduced to such a diverse, intelligent, & vocal person as yourself!

Ah... I sorta agree with you that it gets annoying when ppl think there's no place to grocery shop in Detroit. However, as a Detroit (Proper) resident of 6 years, I still do most of my shopping in the burbs and this is why... As an ethnically Asian person, I have yet to find anywhere in Detroit that sells the supplies that I need. Since the store is also close to Costco in Madison Heights, I just jump on over there to buy the groceries for my family. Meat and house supplies are in better supply and cheaper, so that would be my natural choice.

My family goes to Eastern Market whenever we can, but parking there can be hair pulling. On a side note, is it just me, or has the hipsters of the burbs recently started to crowd Eastern Market with their Lacoste polo's, and tan cargo's? Haha... But back on topic, if there was a cleaner, more reliable form of public transportation that takes me to Eastern Market, you can bet I'll be there more often!

Bradley said...

First,awesome blog... second, I could not agree more. I live in Detroit's WACO neighborhood (Warrendale's eastern end) and the myth of a Detroit devoid of grocery stores evaporates. I have never eaten better and for less money in my entire life! There is a regular 1950's era Spartan store Papaya fruit market, and several Iraqi "bodega" type mom and pop's.

cicicatastrophe said...

I don't get it either to be honest. I live by Belle Isle. I buy a majority of my groceries at Eastern Market and there's a grocery store (Indian Village Market) five blocks from my apartment. Sometimes, if I'm in the mood for a drive, I'll venture to Trader Joe's. My life isn't dictated by the proximity to a Kroger.

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