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How to Gentrify a Bodega: Study Yuppies, Sell Art Magazines

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Open City, a newish site documenting the changes in New York's various Chinatowns, has a piece up about Newsstand-Grocery, a basic essentials store on Orchard and Canal Streets where the Lower East Side and Chinatown collide. Why? Because, "If you want to track gentrification in New York City, look for tofu," Open City writes. So how did Newsstand-Grocery adapt to the changing tastes of its new and upwardly mobile clientele? Simple: The owner went to where yuppies shop, and studied them. Diabolical! Read on:

"I did a lot of research. I spent a lot of time at the Whole Foods on 14th Street just walking the aisles. I was watching—not staring, but you know, you see what's in people's carts, you notice what people are buying. That's when you realize: maybe I don't know the market. My tastebuds are not yours, what you like might not be what I like." She installed a rack of art and design magazines: Domus, Artforum, Bidoun. She stocked the upscale products that her customers liked: Meyers cleaning products, Coco Water ("that's something I would never drink," she says), and a British brand of hand-cut chips called Tyrells, a "destination product" that people come from other neighborhoods to buy.Hey, she forgot the growlers!
· Deli gentrification [Open City]