09 May 2006

Fairway on the Way

According to our friends at Curbed.com, the Red Hook branch of Fairway—long promised, long debated—will actually open for real and truly at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, May 17.

The foodmarket will just a quick trip on the B61 from my neighborhood, inhabiting an old pre-Civil War coffee warehouse. The Van Brunt street building will feature 52,000 freakin' square feet of fancy veggies, cheese, olive oil, meats and, yes, coffee. Sure makes the Met foodmarket on Henry Street look pretty small.

It will be interested to see whether Red Hook will survive or just die of a heart attack from all the commotion. The twin arrivals of Fairway and Ikea in sad, old, faded Red Hook have been bickered about for five years. "They will save Red Hook!" "They will kill Red Hook!" "Oh my God! All the terrible traffic they will bring!" "Oh my God! All the wonderful traffic they will bring!" I grew tired of listening to the arguments long ago.

But, I must admit a feel a little tingle of excitement knowing the gourmet barn is about to throw open its doors. I like swanky food, too, just like anybody. And it is a classic, locally owned New York business—something I can support. Then again, the thought of trend-sucking yuppies rolling in every weekend to stock up on aged Gouda and cordoons makes me queasy. And if the place ends up as crowded as the Upper West Side branch usually is, it won't be a pleasant place to visit. This is Red Hook, after all. Dogs can take a nap on most streets. We're used to there being no one around.

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