Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Ode to convenience


As a city dweller, I've become a big fan of the corner store. Not those soulless chain 7-11s and Store 24s, mind you, but the little independent ones where the selection need not abide by corporate regulations and is therefore far more interesting. In Southie, I lived across the street from a convenience store known simply as The Hub, or as I like to call it "the most convenient convenience store." For a small shop, they stock pretty much anything one could ever want. In addition to the typical eggs, toilet paper, Gatorade, and other convenience store staples, they also sell booze and rent DVDs. Win! And you can even play Keno if you are so inclined. The staff were on the surly side but it added to the overall atmosphere.

Here in Fitzroy, my local corner store (generally called newsagents or milk bars in these parts) is more like a Building 19 version of a convenience store. I mean, look at that store front! I can't even figure out what the store's name is, so I just call it the Crazy Shop. It's fairly large for a convenience store and sells the standard fare plus any random item you may be seeking. A large tinfoil roasting pan? Check. An ashtray? Check. A "No Junk Mail" sticker for your mailbox? Check. Unfortunately, no alcohol sales or DVD rentals, but they do offer a dry cleaning service and sell tram passes, which almost makes up for it. I love the Crazy Shop and average a few visits a week, but I do avoid the food section, as many of the items look like they've been sitting on those shelves since the mid 1980s. The staff consists of three people: Young Guy, Middle-aged Guy Who Wears Suspenders, and Middle-aged Guy With a Bowl Haircut. Or so I thought. A few weeks ago Bowl Cut was wearing what was clearly a woman's blouse with a brooch. I went back to my apartment and expressed surprise that the man from the Crazy Shop was a transvestite. My flatmate's response? "That's a woman." Yikes!! I thought she was a man for an entire year. I kind of feel bad about it, but someone's in serious need of a makeover.

6 comments:

Suldog said...

Yeah, I love "Mom & Pop" stores. You might have read my pieces about some of the local Dorchester ones (if not, and interested, Google "Suldog End Of Charlie's") Anyway, living in Watertown is great for that sort of thing. Loads of them around, except they're all called "Spas" for some reason.

Suldog said...

Or, not as much work...

http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2010/06/charlies_24.html

eileen said...

Thanks for posting the link- Charlie sounds awesome!

J.R. said...

So convenience stores in Paris are basically always referred to as "Arabs" which seems awfully racist. And it is usually an Arabic guy working back there, but jeez man... My American sense of political correctness cringes everytime.

eileen said...

yikes! You know how in MA we call liquor stores "packies" short for Package Store? An English friend chastised me because he thought I was calling it a "Paki" as in Pakinstani. Dude, no!

Kevin said...

Yep, I've got caught out a few times when I've been about to call them "packies" b/c I know that doesn't go down so well over here.