I rarely forget how fortunate I am to have Trader Joe’s at my doorstep, but I do sometimes forget that not all Trader Joe’s are as leisurely and relatively uncrowded. Don’t get me wrong, the place can be bursting just before a holiday or a supposedly imminent snowstorm. But it’s nowhere nearly as crowded as the sole Trader Joe’s in New York.
I passed by the Union Square Trader Joe’s in New York twice this weekend. I actually didn’t frequent it all that much when I lived in NYC (maybe that’s why that year was such a struggle!) but that’s because it’s like Apocalypse Now every day in there.
The couple times I did visit, some shelves were completely empty, and a few lines were 3o-person deep. My friend used to bring her homework to do while in line. Ridiculous.*
*Tangent: I visited the Columbus Circle Whole Foods, which is only slightly less ridiculous, and they have a little chart posted on checkout counters that note their shopping hours. In addition, they helpfully note when their busiest times are. They state: “Monday night- Manageable. Saturday morning- Crazy Busy. Sunday afternoon- Absolutely Frenetic” etc. I appreciated it. Helpful especially for claustrophobes and extreme introverts. So New York.
All this is to say, I am going to count my blessings the next time I step into my current neighborhood Trader Joe’s. I sometimes just take walks up and down the aisles without buying anything (if I had a dog I’d be tempted to take it on walks there. ) I am ever more thankful that I can pick up my yogurt without getting all up in someone’s face, that I can linger in the cereal aisle without evoking looks of death.
As for NYC, why they only have one Trader Joe’s in a city of 8 million is beyond me.
A picture of the NYC ridiculousness (there are store employees whose sole job it seems is to hold line signs):