Thursday, May 08, 2008

Things I'll Miss About New York #1: Three Guys

The bittersweetness is really setting in. Luckily the blog is an excellent coping mechanism for things like this, so watch this space over the next few weeks for a couple of things I will really miss, and probably a few I won't, about living in New York City.

One thing I will miss FOR SURE is Three Guys from Brooklyn, the most amazing place to buy produce I've ever seen. When we first moved here, like the first week, we went to the Brooklyn library main branch and in the lobby they had an exhibit called something like "My Town" - there had been a photo and essay contest about Brooklyn and the winners in different categories were displayed. It was an awesome introduction to Brooklyn for me, learning about the city through current personal experiences of my neighbors. One essay really struck me - that of an 11-year-old boy writing about the weekly afterschool shopping trip he takes with his mom to Three Guys from Brooklyn. He told of asking the owner, who he had come to know well, the story behind the name of the store. Basically he and two of his buddies had decided to start a store selling top quality produce and rock bottom prices - "The Original Poor Man's Friend" is their subtitle. They worked so hard and took so much pride in their work that the other two died of overwork but he believes in what they do and loves his life. That is a poor recounting of the boy's essay. There was a picture of the owner and boy with mounds of fresh produce behind.

When I got home I looked it up, intending to go visit just for the essay's sake. But when I discovered it was close to where we lived, I made a habit of it. It's set up like a produce stand so there's not a lot of room, and you can't even think of going on Fridays when every Jew in Brooklyn is shopping for Shabbat, but if you hit it early on a week morning you can do OK and even find street parking.

Of course the beautiful thing about Three Guys is - it's SO CHEAP and it's SO GOOD! It's always fresh because they move their stuff so fast, and I don't know how their stuff is always more delicious and less expensive than the grocery stores, but I'm not complaining...until I move. For example, I went this week and spent $61.80. I got everything you see in the picture PLUS two gallons and one quart of milk, a dozen eggs, a bottle of salad dressing, and a 4-pack of the most amazing applesauce for $0.99 (they have a few grocery items.)

Produce: 4 ears of corn, 1 broccoli crown, 1 pineapple, 2 romaine lettuces, 3 lbs bananas, 1/2 watermelon, 1 cauliflower crown, 1.5 lbs mediterranean cukes, 0.8 lbs green beans, 3.5 lbs grapes, 2 lbs strawberries, 2 bags baby carrots, 1 yellow pepper, 1 bag clementines, 1.16 lbs asparagus, 1 lb black plums, 2.8 lbs gala apples, 2 grapefruits

How can we eat all that produce before it goes bad? Well it does take some effort (especially since Ed is only home for breakfast) but we've been working to change some of our eating habits - that's for another post. Bring on the fruits and vegetables! It also helps that so many things are coming into season now.

Three Guys is a Brooklyn establishment, a friend to the Poor Man, and a place I will very sadly miss when we leave.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I didn't find out about 3 Guys until we'd been here for 4 or 5 months, which was probably just as well since it was cold and I wasn't much up for being outside too long. But now that the weather's warmer, I trek over there once every other week or so. It's a long walk, but it's worth every step. Just the other day I picked up: a bundle of juicy grapes, a carton of the most delicious strawberries I've ever eaten, 10 apples, 8 plums, a dozen eggs, an onion, 2 bags of carrots, a bunch of bananas, and 2 of the best cantelopes ever...and it only cost me $16. I tell you, this place is a godsend for the poor meal planner like me. And it's definitely made pureeing my own baby food all the more economical. We're not planning on leaving Brooklyn any time soon, but I'm with you: this is one place I will sorely miss someday when we do.

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