I’m walking home on a Thursday night, down my dark, windy street in Brooklyn. It’s not too late, but the chill of the night some how makes it feel later than it is. There aren’t many people on this street or businesses that stay open after 8PM, definitely a change from my old Manhattan neighborhood.
As is customary for the millennial New Yorker, I have my headphones in, listening to a podcast. What podcast, you ask? Oh, just a little podcast about murders. Ya know, tooootes normal and soooo advisable to listen to while walking home on a dark, blustery night with dead leaves swirling around my feet…
There’s only one other person on the sidewalk and I don’t pay much attention until it’s clear he’s approaching me. Fuck. He motions for me to take off my headphones. Fuuuuuuck.
He has a scraggly red beard and is wearing plaid pants that I assume are pajamas. There’s something about him, a level of desperation fairly common in strangers who approach me on the street. I expect him to ask me for money and hope he’ll leave me alone when I tell him I have no change.
But he doesn’t do that.
Instead he implores:
“Do you know any place around here that sells Asiago cheese?”
I stifle a laugh. Holy shit, I never in a million years would’ve guessed he was desperate FOR CHEESE! A man of my heart! And perhaps the biggest Brooklyn Cliché I’ve encountered since moving here!
A classic HIPSTER or HOMELESS debate in his native habitat!
I ask the hipster if he’s tried the Key Food down the street. He tells me he already looked, that their fancy cheese selection is lacking. That’s when I realize I really haven’t explored my new neighborhood enough. I have no idea where to tell him to look next! HOW DO I NOT KNOW WHERE THE BEST CHEESE SELECTION IN MY NEW NEIGHB IS??
I mean the answer is obvious: I am a Trader Joe’s loyalist, even if it means hauling groceries across multiple subway transfers.