Friday, February 17, 2006


While I'm sure it is no surprise to the followers of Curbed here is what happened....the other night after work I got off the train. I headed to my local grocery store in Brooklyn just blocks from my house. It looked pretty packed inside which was odd. It was a week night not a weekend. I plunged forth anyway.

About two steps in the door I froze in my tracks. Everyone around me was hysterical. Yelling. Grabbing things off the shelves. The place was a complete mess. Bread and Tampax were stuffed next to the faces of Brad and Angelina on the magazine rack. Half the entire produce aisle was totally gone. Oranges rolled on the floor. What the hell was going on?

For a moment I considered the fact that in my brief walk from the subway to the store that I'd missed some kind of global warning, some kind of announcement on TV that we were being bombed. Run. Grab all the cat food you can. It may sound dramatic of me that this was my first thought but it was. Why? Because it has happened to me before.

The morning of 9/11. I woke to the sound of a plane rumbling, flying VERY low over my apartment and then dead silence and then a huge loud explosion. People screamed. I looked out my window and saw a group of kids on a field trip laughing and screaming right outside of my window on the ground floor. But screaming like kids screaming not panic. Thought nothing of it. I got dressed. Didn't turn on the TV. Didn't see a newspaper. I decided to head to the grocery store around the corner. It was sunny out. The streets were a combo of eery silent with sirens and police cars flying down Second Avenue. Strange I guess but this is New York. Thought nothing of it. I walked into the grocery store. It was packed. Chaotic. People yelling. A man with a strong Indian accent and a hysterical manner on the intercom yelling, "PLEASE DONATE BLOOD! CABRINI HOSPITAL NEEDS YOUR BLOOD!!!" What the HELL was going on? I was so freaked out I just spun around and ran back to my apartment. Before I turned the corner to my street I passed a flood of zombie like people walking up Second Avenue covered in white dust and blood. It was horrible and scary. A man in an expensive business suit tattered to shreads caught my eye.

Luckily my discovery this time was far less traumatic.

K: What is going on here?
Woman: Store's closin'! Everything is 75% off!
K: You are kidding! What is moving in here?
Woman: Another drug store. Like we need it!

A normal person might have turned around and walked out taking one look at the mess. Not me. Being drawn to unusual situations like a deer in headlights, I walked down each and every aisle despite having to push my way past people which on any normal day would drive me insane. I grabbed my camera and took crappy blurry shots because the whole thing was surreal. I walked around and filled up my basket with random stuff hardly paying attention to what I was getting.

By the time I got to the checkout line, I had my first good look at what was in my basket. Things I never eat or have eaten before. It was like a stoner's last trip to the grocery store:

Peanut butter, pistachio nuts, hot dogs, Annie's Mac N' Cheese (family size), Windex, Chex cereal, Brownie mix, 1 onion, swiss cheese, 2 cans of Spanish peanuts, etc.

A muzak version of Hello Goodbye by the Beatles was on the radio.

Why, why, why, why, why, why
Do you say good bye
Goodbye, bye, bye, bye, bye

I left the doors of my grocery store for the last time. The muzak Beatles song stuck in my head.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger M-m-m-m-m-m-m-Momo said...

Oh, Kdunk. Such a lovely mix of hilarity and sadness. I can see why the supermarket situation would have caused panic in you. With no similar traumatic experience to draw on, I do have a sense of panic when the store is running low on milk and bread ... sort've like armageddon meets some weird innate 30-something-years-before-I-existed throwback to rationing in the 40s.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger peep said...

sounds like court street key food - its going to be a CVS. and the pizza place on the corner of court and first, next to the citibank? its going to be a dunkin' [not more than] donuts. as they say, there goes the neighborhood.

So we are all so scarred by 9/11, to this day. I still can't hear a siren without my stomach turning a little, and every time I see the red hook raiders firetruck I am overcome with sadness. Luckily, these things don't happen often, and the high points in life continue to outnumber the low.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Lock said...

Awash in awesomeness.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Sung said...

Dunkin Donut's is already there. Awning is already up.


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