Twitter Facebook Instagram Szukaj Newsletter Kontakt Wersja polska

About me | My projects | My products | Contact

Contact with me
justlikeny@gmail.com

Zapisz się do newslettera





Step 44 - How Do You See Yourself?
photo by http://www.wdkproductions.com/ I wonder what kind of picture of yourself do you have in your own mind? I’m not asking about the one you present to the world, but about the real ...

Walk with me, Part 4 – Nolita
Nolita is right next to Soho and I was thinking of putting these two walks together – and you could do that of course – but there are just too many things to explore in each neighborhood s...

Step 43: Have the Courage to Stand Alone
Photo by wdkproductions.com I heard this sentence: “Have the courage to stand alone”, spoken by Brene Brown in a conversation with Marie Forleo a few weeks ago, and it keeps ringing in ...

Walk with Me, Part 3 – Soho
  Soho is one of my favorite places in NY. And it’s not because of the fancy stores (I don’t have the desire to buy a Chanel bag, I want someone to give me that bag for free.) It's...

Step 42 – How do we not go crazy?
It’s very easy to go crazy in NY. It’s way too easy. That’s why at some point, you have to slow down and ask yourself how your mind is doing. There are a few different ways I ...

Step 41 – Close the Open Tabs
I recently noticed that everyone, including myself, says, “OMG, this month passed by so fast! Where did the time go?” And I feel that every year we say it more often. Have you noticed th...

The Bridges of Madison County - A Cautionary Tale
I’ve been coming back to old movies recently and watched one of my favorite movies of all time – “The Bridges of Madison County” with my favorite actress, Meryl Str...

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan
It’s funny how Manhattan and Brooklyn are different, even though they are only a river away. They are actually just one subway stop away (which is a few minutes’ distance). A lot of peop...

Women’s Surf Film Festival
I finally attended Women’s Surf Film Festival that took place at Rockaway Beach Surf Club on the last Friday and Saturday of July. I didn’t see all the movies (they’re mostly short...

Birthday
35 years ago, a miracle happened and I came into this world. And everything changed. I’m kidding. Nothing changed, except for the fact that the world got a bit confused. When I was a little ...

Yelp & Health
If you are running a restaurant business in NYC, you always fear of two things: Health Department and Yelp reviews. Health Department comes to a restaurant once a year and checks everything &ndash...

Racism Is Still Alive
I just had a chance to watch a new movie called “Crown Heights” and I must say it was a really painful screening for me. Had I watched it back in Poland, I would probably look at it as j...

Deli, or Small Business the Arab way

added: 2013-07-23 , category: Discover NY

When I told my Polish friends about doing my everyday shopping at the local deli, they immediately asked: “de-what?”, “de-where?”. It was then that I realized that a place as common over here as gyms and as familiar as trash laying on the streets is practically unknown in Poland. 

Deli – or delicatessen – is a place you come to when you run out of beer or ice cream; when you feel like having a toasted sandwich or a coffee at 2 AM. In Polish the word “delicatessen” signifies something upscale and refined, but nothing could be further from the truth over here. You’ll find a deli at every street corner, and the sheer number of them is really amazing. A deli is the most popular place to buy basic groceries, as well as takeaway sandwiches – you can either go with something available on the menu, or assemble your own composition. Everything here is tasty, cheap and quickly served. 

Entering a deli for the first time, you can think it has been robbed just a couple of minutes before. Its generic look is strictly no-frills. No one cares about its “interior design”, no one worries about general disarray and cats walking down the aisles. Any given deli looks just like another deli down the street. The Manhattan ones may be just a bit cleaner than the Queens and Brooklyn ones, but that’s it.

Deli is open 24/7, it always sports the same furniture and shelves, and seemingly the same Arab guy behind the counter (the businesses are usually owned by Arab families). 

After a few weeks in a new neighborhood you’re already recognizable to the owners of your local deli, so they greet you as if you were an old friend. It may happen that they will ask you if you’d like “the usual” sandwich right after you enter the place. One day I even dared some small talk and asked the owner if he was very tired (you know how eloquent I can be), to which he nodded and said he needs to stay awake till 7 AM. 

Most often deli is a family business and it happens that a single family owes several delis along a single street. Which technically means that the clerks who just finished their shift at “my” deli, go straight to work in a deli across the street. This is not a city for tired people. 

I often wonder if the owners of delis have any other lives besides minding their stores. I hope the real answer is different than the one I suspect to be true.



Your comments

comments powered by Disqus