So I was on a plane the other day. Jet Blue. And they have this thing where they show video clips from the New York Times. The most exciting one that I saw was called ‘Beyond the Falafel’ and explored the Arab food shops on Atlantic Ave!
I was really glad to see that the NYT really got it right. They gave the requisite nod to Sahadi’s, then spent a lot of time across the street at Oriental Pastry and Grocery, my favorite spot ever.
The best store owner in the best store.
He sells homemade sweets. If you love baklava, get some here. They have it in walnut, pistachio, almond, and pine nut. At least. Branch out and try burma, the most delicious pastry in the world. It’s a solid log of pistachios glued together with syrup and wrapped in birds nest-ey pastry. Mmm! And they are generous with the samples.
And they make their own string cheese that is seriously out of this world.
And their olives are the best in Brooklyn.
And they sell basturma, an excellent cured meat covered in delicious spices.
So these are all reasons why I was very stoked to see the NYT supporting them, shouting them out, and generally giving props to the little guy.
I hope that this won’t make a difference in their longevity:
Photo from Brownstoner Sept. 07.
This is the spot of the new Urban Outfitters opening up on Atlantic Ave. See the edge of that red awning on the left side? That is Oriental Pastry and Grocery. Shit is literally right up next to them!
This is what it looks like now, with the sign up:
Photo from Brownstoner Feb. 08.
Now, I’m not going to front like I’ve never clawed somebody’s eyes out to get a torn-ass $5 ‘free people’ shirt from the bargain basement at the Urban on 14th Street. But what happens in Manhattan stays in Manhattan, right?
I really really hope that this will not make it an untenable spot for their business in any way. What are my concerns? Are they vague and racially charged? Yes, to some degree. Are they specific and well founded? Also yes, to some degree. Reflecting on where I have seen other Urban Outfitters, and what other businesses are in close proximity to them… those businesses do not often sell bulk beans and coffees out of open sacks.
And, looking on the other side of them, the picture does NOT get any brighter! A few short blocks up Atlantic, Rattner’s Atlantic Yards project will be moving in, and with it comes a certain orbit of traffic congestion, noise, and general grossness.
Will Oriental Pastry be forced to go the way of Sahadi’s and stock up on overpriced imported European goods (chocolates, cheeses, etc.) to be able to remain afloat in the nabe?
As Cap’n P says: The power is YOURS!