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May 17, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Produce

2006-05-17 olives.jpg

Doors opened early at 10. More photos here.

It is a beautiful market. I can't wait to shop for supper tonight.

Posted by callalillie at May 17, 2006 9:28 AM | City Life , Red Hook

COMMENTS first i thought you were being a LITTLE compulsive on this Fairway thing...after all, its just a grocery store. BUt after see pics....I must say that i am equally entranced and suffering grocery store envy. Its not 'just' a grocery store....its an experience.

Posted by: xath at May 17, 2006 11:20 AM

It is also excitement based on deprivation. The nearest grocery stores are 1.5 and 1 mile away, which isn't a giant trek but generally inconvenient-- especially when you see the shape the produce is in when you get to the markets. Fairway is less than a half mile away and a straight shot from our apartment. Price comparisons vary depending on what you get, however I would rather spend a little bit more for something good...though I wonder if Fairway bankrupt us in the end. I'm sure it will help price us out of the neighborhood at some point.

Posted by: corie at May 17, 2006 2:23 PM

God, I'm jealous. Sunset Park is a dead zone for anything even slightly upscale. Like unshrinkwrapped broccoli, frozen yogurt, or kalamata olives. Sooooo jealous of you!

Posted by: liz at May 17, 2006 2:28 PM

I think a group Fairway excursion is in order.

Posted by: corie at May 17, 2006 2:32 PM

Oh man, I miss Fairway - especially the one uptown where you put on a quilted jacket to go into the meat locker. Now that I live in Arizona I refuse to go to the grocery store, my b/f does all the shopping. It's just not the same.

Posted by: kdub at May 17, 2006 4:48 PM

I know this may seem like a stupid question but why is Fairway okay, but Ikea is not?

Posted by: Nancy at May 17, 2006 4:58 PM

I'm almost weeping with jealousy after looking at those pictures. I'm sure the store will never look quite so clean and shiny and beautiful and perfectly stocked again, which also makes me a little weepy. Please eat many olives on my behalf.

Posted by: not-that-Andrea at May 17, 2006 4:59 PM


Posted by: Just a trumpet player at May 17, 2006 5:06 PM

Has anyone else noticed that there are 42 flickr photos of Fairway, and 28 of the wedding?? I am only teasing, Corie. Bon apetit!

Posted by: Maura at May 17, 2006 5:09 PM

Nancy --

On the contrary, that is a good question. A few years ago there were volatile community meetings about the project, only they were soon easily eclipsed by the Ikea nightmare. I know a few people in the neighborhood who won't set foot in Fairway -- but as Corie says, most of us have suffered from lack of shopping convenience for so long that we are caught between a rock or some other suitable cliche. In the least, I hope that unlike Whole Foods, the staff is union.

Posted by: Jonathan at May 17, 2006 5:15 PM

Now, I might just be more excited about Fairways because I'm a Foodie and would rather spend money on over priced produce than furniture I don't need, but from a public health stand point, even if it is over priced, there is still some value in bringing quality food options to a community. That's why I might be more forgiving of Fairways than Ikea.

Posted by: kar at May 17, 2006 5:42 PM

beautiful photos! the quantity is amazing... wow, when's fairway coming to fort greene??

Posted by: lc at May 17, 2006 5:52 PM

It is a question of scale and balanced adaptive development.

Many people in the community who were against the Fairway are long-time property owners who have legitimate concerns over traffic. As property owners, they also wanted to prevetnt the loss of potential high quality residential development on the waterfront, which would in turn increase their property value.

When I started hanging out in the neighborhood in the late 90s, I had a lot of conversations about this kind of development. Trust me when I say that a lot of those anti-fairway folk are (very quietly) loving the Fairway phenomena, while their dread just increases about the upcoming Ikea.

Posted by: Alexis at May 17, 2006 6:47 PM

Lex beat me to the answer. I would also add, however, that Fairway at least adapted a historic (not in the landmarked sense) building. IKEA will be a gigantic yellow and blue box. Much of the waterfront may very well be turned into a parking lot and loading dock.

Furthermore, Fairway provides for a need. IKEA provides cheap furniture that can be bought elsewhere.

Posted by: corie at May 17, 2006 6:51 PM

Red Hook de-fanged

Posted by: Kevin Walsh at May 17, 2006 7:48 PM

you know, i've never actually been to fairway...

Posted by: tien at May 17, 2006 8:55 PM

As an anti-Fairway oldtimer, I will certainly be shopping at Fairway. However, I have to squirm a bit over lining a certain land baron's coffers -- of course, compared with Ikea's abhorrent destruction, his renovation/building conservation strategies deserve praise. It is his vision of the waterfront that I hope bears future scrutiny (hegemony alert!) -- Ask those who have quit community board 6, might cronyism run rampant in our neck of the woods? (re: 360 Imlay.....)

Posted by: Jonathan at May 17, 2006 9:15 PM

gee, that makes the cat piss smelling, maggoty produce having, terrible service of our disgusting MET food on smith street seem EVEN WORSE.
oh the jealousy!

Posted by: jennifer at May 17, 2006 10:39 PM

Thanks for the photos, even though I'm within sight of Fairway, I didn't have a chance to make it over yesterday, you filled in some blanks for me. I did however drive past more than a few times and I'll say I was very impressed with the number of folk who trekked with wheelie-carts from the neighborhood, people who had no other option than Fine Fare (can you say "curly parsley?") . To add, I certainly WON'T miss overpaying for fish at Fish Tales simply because they were convenient.

Posted by: Keylime Steve at May 18, 2006 6:22 AM

About Fairway over Ikea... Greg O'Connell really thought about what should go into that building and was concerned about the community. The Fairway is a really good fit, just like it is in Harlem. It brings jobs, but not just unskilled labor type jobs. It brings butchers, bakers, cooks, operations people, etc... I think the people working there will have a sense of pride in their jobs and really feel more connected to the community and from my experience last night at the store, it seems that the community will get to know each other better. It is bringing together people from all backgrounds into a pleasant setting and I think people will chat it up and really get to know each other. This is probably a good thing for Ikea. Maybe people will come to better understand each other on the Ikea issue.

About the Fairway store, it is huge and a little hard to navigate the first time through, but after shopping there a few times, it won't be hard to remember where certain items are located. Everyone was friendly, sincere and welcoming - it created a good vibe. My only complaint is about the bike racks. There are none. And when I went to chain my bike to the fence in the parking lot, a security guard told me I could not bike ride in the parking lot because of an insurance liability. So I had to dismount and walk, oh the horror.

Posted by: rick at May 18, 2006 9:51 AM

So, I'm from the south and have never experienced a Fairway (I looks great, by the way)... I'm just wondering how it differs from Whole Foods?

Posted by: Jessica at May 18, 2006 11:59 AM


the difference between Whole Foods and Fairway is that Fairway seems to try to satisfy everyone by stocking more generic supermarket staples (i.e. a mountain of Tide detergent)along with an 'exotic' selection (i.e. my English girlfriend was quite happy with Fairway's ample supply of HP and Marmite). Whole Foods has the 'exotic' but tends to try and push their own brand on the 'generic staples' side. So you won't find Hefty trash bags at Whole Foods, but they have an abundant stock at Fairway.

All in all, I think Fairway, at least in the Red Hook incarnation, is the best supermarket (my opinion after shopping exclusively at Whole Foods for the past few years)

Posted by: Jonathan at May 18, 2006 9:57 PM

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