Let me tell you what it’s like to get some groceries with Emma in a stroller. Outside The City you have these enormous stores like WalMart or Costco with huge carts, wide aisle and a variety of food in oversized packages and with everything you need or don’t need. Manhattan is different. There are a lot of options for food shopping and the stores are often bigger from the inside than what you first imagine, but they are still very small. The aisles are incredibly narrow and often also used as storage space for stacks of cans or boxes. You can either maneuver a half-sized cart or carry a hand basket for getting through this jungle. Oh and don’t forget having Emma in stroller makes it even more fun. Let me paint you a little picture here. Entrance: Fruits and vegetable court, temperature 8°C/46°F. An overwhelming view; nicely prepared piles of perfect fruits. Huge oranges, colorful apples, spotless peppers. All huge in size, all flawless, all organic (?) and all quite pricy. I grab two pieces of each and just as I make the first turn I have to yield to an older lady struggling with her new iPhone.
Anyway Emma smiles while I place her in the stroller and try to find an alternative route to aisle 2: rice and noodles. For some reasons the aisles in New Yorker supermarket are designed to be 60cm in width; the stroller is 56cm in width leaving me 2 cm on each side to navigate. Milk and frozen goods; temperature 0°C/32°F. After a few weeks living in NYC, I know exactly where the things are that we need and so we can escape this freezing deathtrap in no time. I wouldn’t have time to look for them anyway as Emma is getting twitchy and wants to walk again. Toilet paper and cleaning goods. At this point I’m not shopping anymore I’m collecting; collecting what Emma kindly placed on the floor for me. Check out. Fun fact: New Yorker conveyor belts are 30cm long, can hold up to 4 items at a time and operate at a speed of 15cm per second, leaving me about 1 second to get the stuff on and off the belt and another second the pick-up whatever Emma has dropped again. Credit Card out, swipe, sign, thank you….DONE.
Tips and Tricks
- Best shopping time is early in the morning, worse time is around noon where everybody is getting lunch.
- Most stores provide delivery. So you can do all the shopping yourself and then have everything delivered home within an hour. Or you just order online.
- For 40$ you can get a shopping cart which really pays off in The City and it also can be used as a second stroller.
- There are other options for grocery shopping especially when you need a little more. Costco; a huge consumer temple where you get lots for less. It’s located in East Harlem. This place is crazy. It’s more like an IKEA storehouse for all sorts of products and the sizes of the packs are gigantic. They don’t have a huge variety of brands and sizes, but they have pretty much everything. When you get out of the store you will have pasta, rice, cereal and oil… for the next 6 months for sure. Lucky there are cabs waiting just outside the store to take you home.
You will have to get a membership, 50$ /year and this pays off after your first big purchase.
- Next to Costco you find also an Aldi (German discount supermarket chain).