Field Trip to Fairway

On Saturday, we went on a field trip – all the way to Red Hook! It was a big adventure. First we wandered around outside.

The spring flowers were out in full force, soaking up the sunshine.

These little clusters, which look like a child’s drawing of an upside-down bunch of grapes, are appropriately called grape hyacinths.

I have no idea what these are, but they are very pretty. Also, if anyone knows how plants with red leaves photosynthesize – is there such a thing as red chlorophyll? – please enlighten me. I’ve been wondering for years.

The Statue of Liberty can be seen just across the water.

And here is a giant coil of rope. I don’t see these too often, so I deemed it picture-worthy.

Before our eyes, we watched these ducks float into a line until all the ducks were in a row. Yes.

Finally, the real purpose of the journey: to go Fairway. To some, going to a new grocery store might not fall into the “adventure” category, so I’m not going to say how long I spent wandering around without a cart or a basket, just aisle-gazing. At first I was a little skeptical of their slogan, “Like No Other Market,” and it IS similar to other supermarkets and grocery stores – in that it sells food.

There is something to the claim, though. It’s at least ten times larger than the small neighborhood groceries and bodegas throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, and it dwarfs the Park Slope Food Co-op (which I adore) as well. However, it doesn’t resemble one of the huge suburban chains like Safeway or Giant or Stop ‘n’ Shop or Hannaford or Vons, with their wide aisles and high ceilings (it’s still Brooklyn, and space is still at a premium), their cold fluorescent lighting, and their generic packaged foodstuffs. It has personality.

I was a little awed at the variety – of teas, of chocolates, and I didn’t even venture into the dried fruit and nuts section – and it would take a few more visits to figure out the organizational strategy precisely. Organic food seemed to be separated from non-organic food in some areas. There was also a huge meat counter (which I skirted), an extensive selection of cheeses, and a full bakery, where I only managed to resist the croissants, scones, and baguettes because of the aforementioned breakfast of sweet crepes.

All in all, it was a grand outing. For those still reading at this point, thanks, and Matt – I just wrote three full paragraphs about a grocery store, so I guess you’re right, this is a food blog.

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