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Every Day You Get Our Hipsterest™ - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Every Day You Get Our Hipsterest™
It was the one thing that We had on Them. Upstate New York- the land of gingham dresses and suits from Sears. The rubes who can't even be trusted to control the one chamber of New York government in which Republicans hold a majority, and upstaters a majority of those seats.  All the other downers, from our losing sports teams to our aging population.  Ask a New York City dweller what to do on a visit there and you'll get a list of dozens of ideas- to which the only retort I could even think to make, as recently as February, was

Well, we have Wegmans.

And now, we don't even have that to lord over the Noo Yawkahs. Although Danny and Co. have toyed with some Jerseyish outposts of the Tri-State area, word came today that the hippest of the boroughs is itself going to become the home of the newest and coolest of his stores.

That's right. A Wegmans Grows in Brooklyn:

Wegmans, the family-owned, Rochester-based chain of 85 stores concentrated in the Great Lakes region and the Washington Beltway, has that kind of following, inspiring fan websites, hashtags, T-shirts, even a high school musical about a couple who finds love in the aisles. The company is poised to open its first New York City store, and it has selected one of the most ripe locations: the derelict Admiral’s Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

After a decade of fighting over whether to save the Civil War-era homes of Admiral’s Row along Flushing Avenue, the Navy Yard’s board approved a deal for the redevelopment of the site on Tuesday. Several buildings will be knocked down and replaced with Wegmans, other stores, industrial space and parking. Steiner NYC, creator of the Navy Yard’s 25-acre film studio, will develop the complex, set to open in 2017.

Staten Island would've provided the most room, Queens perhaps the most diverse customer mix- but no. They're heading for Brooklyn- the land of fedoras, goatees and free-range chickens- the latter, not only to be sold, but to be welcomed as special snowflake customers:


Eleanor often speaks of the Curse of Register 17- the one among her store's regularly open lanes which somehow magically attracts the most entitled, the queens of clueless, the princes of paper-in-plastic bagging demands. Now they're picking a location where such qualities are virtually required for borough citizenship.  (The only theory is that it has a handicapped-accessible sign above the register at all times, and many of these divas and divo's think that mental handicaps count.)

The one good thing I took from the articles I read, including the one above, is that nobody is even talking about the Non-Union Elephant in the Room: that with the exception of its truck drivers, Wegmans has never had a unionized workforce and, given its annual rankings as one of the best workplaces in the country, doesn't have a need for one.  That was a Thing when I first moved here, a year or so after the first Buffalo store opened; there were frequent protests by the unions representing the other chains in town, all but one of which have withered and died and the remaining one of which also regularly makes national lists- of the worst supermarkets in the country.

Union support is the one mark of a card-carrying liberal which I have always rejected- because I once was, literally, a card-carrying member of a retail store union. They took my dues and did jack shit for us part-time "brothers" and "sisters" in the name of "protecting" the "lifers" who worked there full-time during the "day."  Their usefulness has seen its day come and go, and for every mark of pride they carry (they got us the 40-hour workweek, among others), they left plenty of dead businesses in their wake from regular trips to brinksmanship during contract negotiations.  There are much better ways to protect workforces other than entrenching and enriching a permanent class of union leaders- and while the Wegmans model isn't perfect, either (they also tend to favor, or at least tolerate more from, their full-time "lifers") it beats having to protect the jobs of indifferent employees who care more about their cigarette breaks and their job descriptions than they do about their customers.

Besides, it'd be a bitch to hold a union election in Brooklyn- what with all that free-range chickenshit on the floor.
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