I'm so glad I don't live in NYC, and the feeling is probably mutual. While rent is ridiculous here too, at least I can inhale the scents of jasmine and trumpet flowers while walking to the train stop. I apologize for blowing this S.F. smug cloud in your face, but it's also a luxury to hike down a hill on Saturdays for $1/pound locally-grown, organic apples or onions, or to cycle over to the aptly-named Good Life or Rainbow for groceries week-round. La di da.
Look at what this poor, gray New Yorker had to go through just for cheap produce in Park Slope, Brooklyn, trying to improve her failing health. For the privilege of shopping at a food co-op there, you have to volunteer a few hours of work each month. That's fine, but the membership rules sound downright draconian, as the author explained on Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. Her story contains some tired stereotypes about granola shoppers, but hear this horror: you supposedly get kicked out of the co-op if any non-member winds up eating the food you buy there:
A friend of mine, making use of her free pass to shop, told me of a harrowing experience she encountered while waiting on line to purchase a variety of vegetarian foods: Tofurkey Jerky that tasted like the beef variety but wasn’t, Quinoa, spelt, and tempeh, and then a number of organic steaks for her live-in boyfriend who was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Her upper lip beaded with sweat as she stood on line, worried that the mix of items in her cart gave her away–-she was committing a flagrant food coop offense, shopping for a non-worker.
What if you want to throw dinner parties?