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Sunday, April 29, 2007

my bodega buddy

the neighbors are moving out.

did you hear me, people? THE NEIGHBORS ARE MOVING OUT. as i type this. they are gone. history. outta here. the new ones are coming and here's something we learned about them: because this is my life and nothing is allowed to go well, the new neighbors are going to build an extension that will cover up one of our few windows. we can kiss a good chunk of light goodbye. we can forget about ever looking outside from that particular point in our previously unobstructed hallway. we are being hemmed in. fuck the new neighbors! i miss the old neighbors.

no, actually, i don't. and, perhaps unsurprisingly, i am not alone. check this out: i was talking to the nice bodega owner man on our corner. it turns out he hates my neighbor too! he whispers to me "what do you think of him?" i stammer, "i, well, i don't know him really. he's, um, er." and the bodega guy says "HE IS A SON OF A BITCH." awesome. this bodega dude is a little syrian guy, about 5'5" or so. he told me that he had banned our neighbor, who is 6'4", from his store for life a couple years ago. i was impressed. he told me the story:

he comes into my store and he's obviously high on something. he wants a sandwich, so my guy starts making him a sandwich. when he doesn't get it fast enough he starts screaming at the guy, going crazy. i never liked the son-of-a-bitch, so i told him: 'don't talk to him like that. in fact, you know what? you are not allowed in here anymore. i never want to see your face in my store again.' and he says to me: 'why? because i'm black?' now my middle eastern blood is starting to boil. this is a big guy, but i say to him 'go fuck yourself. 80 percent of my customers are black. get your ass out of my store and never come back OR DO YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME MOTHERFUCKER!?'

he was telling me this story in his store, getting all pissed off about it all over again--and even though i have nearly a foot on him, i was intimidated. he was all "i don't care that he's so big; he has no heart. i'll tear him to pieces." i love it. the dude pulls no punches. he tells me that i have a nice house, "but it needs some work, some paint. no offense." none taken. every time i buy a big bottle of chimay he gives me a shmancy chimay glass. score! today he carried my beer and ice cream home because i am on crutches, even though i can usually manage on my own. plus, he gives me all the gossip. he tells me tells me what everyone on the street paid for their houses--that the new neighbors put $600 grand down in cash! he knows all and sees all. i must never cross him.

so ... what, village vanguard gets no love from you people? why do i bother showing up?


Blogger Papa Bradstein said...

Always good to have a buddy in the bodega, man. (And bodega--what a great word. When we moved into DC, we kept referring to our corner ice cream store. Finally, our friends pointed out that we bought ice cream there, but everyone else bought their booze there. If only we'd thought to say "bodega," we wouldn't have had to point out how close the corner liquor store was to our place for all that time.)

4/29/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the new neighbors going to be allowed to build an addition that covers up one of your windows? This seems like something a zoning board might have some say over. This could be your chance to earn your NIMBY credentials!!!!

PS Say "Hi" to MNG, and tell her I'll try to call again next weekend.

4/30/2007 1:32 PM  
Anonymous egohound said...

Whoops! - That "anonymous" was meant to posted as "egohound."

4/30/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that bodega owner rocks... rad, man!

5/01/2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Look who was quoted/linked at BoingBoing yesterday!

5/01/2007 9:51 PM  
Blogger The Walshes said...

Wow...I feel so naive..I'd never even heard of a bodega before...

But seriously though, can I really go from assy to classy with a 40 oz in my hand?!?! sah-weet.

(this comment may never be posted because I am looking at a 25 letter word verification..they always make me feel so "challenged"...)

5/01/2007 10:14 PM  
Anonymous shylah said...

I LOVED the "Part Foods" remark in that video. *snicker*

5/02/2007 12:24 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

walshes -- i'm pretty sure he was saying "from ashy to classy" ... but assy works for me too

5/02/2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger The Walshes said...

Wow..I'm even MORE challenged than I thought LOL.....

5/02/2007 3:44 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Shit, I thought a bodega was another word for a joint - "Don't bogart that bodega, man!" I'd better lay off the joints...

Yeah, never scrap with the little guys. The little guys have a big chip on their shoulder and they aim for your crotch a lot. It's not cool.

5/02/2007 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Glennia said...

I used to live in the Bronx, and I am tearing up at the mere mention of the word "bodega".

5/02/2007 7:44 PM  
Anonymous said...

Do you know Claude?

5/04/2007 12:24 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

i do not! claude who?

5/05/2007 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

claude doesn't have a last name.

5/09/2007 12:48 PM  

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