@myrna.minkoff : how will it stay that way if you go blowing up its spot on the Internet? Seriously, though, what makes it great is that it's way less crowded.
I always feel like I'm shouting into the void with this, but I'm going to bring it up now anyway (you editors here are usually good about responding to feedback). "African-American" is not interchangeable with "black." It's just not. Lupita is Kenyan. Zoe Saldana always goes out of her way to emphasize that she is Dominican (and German and whatnot), etc. In other words, none of them would self-identify as "African-American," so why are you labeling them as such? If you want to use a catch-all term, and you should absolutely do so, "black" will do just fine. It always seems like in saying "African-American," people are trying to be sensitive, but it's just not accurate. I only ever hear non-black people describe black people this way. Black is not pejorative.
I wish I was my yoga teacher right now, because I think he'd have lots to say about your forgetting that your debit card was in your yoga bag. Namaste.
@Josh Michtom@facebook You know, I can say with 100% earnestness that I like the Cheesecake Factory. It does nothing to damage my self-conception as a person who likes to cook and pay for good food. Life's a rich tapestry that way. So I don't know why seeing people wait in line for two hours to eat there (weirdly I can't tell from your framing whether you were also in line, or just judging from a distance) is any different than seeing hungover New Yorkers wait two hours for brunch at any number of mediocre places slinging fritattas for a 1000% markup. It's interesting how we assign taste based on place. It's suburban so it can't be good. It's in Brooklyn so it carries the weight of cachet. But Juniors's is also a chain! Just not a big one (yet?). But you can order online and save the drive next time, fyi. Besides, it's all a matter of preference. Sometimes you're more excited to eat a snickers or apple pie or turtle cheesecake than a dense block of Junior's. That's ok! No one will take your foodie card. Just like sometimes you can be in the mood for a milkshake instead of gelato.
@TheDoctorsCompanion I just came to say the same thing. It seems to oversimplify things to use "the poor," in this context, especially when "cost-conscious" will do (or as I prefer it: "people who are not annoying disruptors who ruin everything," because who even pays for a reservation? Annoying disruptors who ruin everything, that's who).
I love that Handybook has their google alerts set just so they can bring that same college-like atmosphere they're so proud of in their office to the comments section. Ya bro.
@bgprincipessa I remember it too! In all its rayon and polyester glory. And according to Google it is curiously still around: http://www.579.com/.
Don't you ever feel like your tastebuds have changed too much to enjoy certain things, though? I remember being so excited when I saw one of those Entemann's Louisiana Crunch cakes in the grocery store a few years back. It was one of my absolute favorite desserts as a kid. And then I took it home, poured myself a huge glass of milk, and proceeded to dive into what ended up tasting like the inside of a tin can. Or maybe I'm giving myself too much credit. They probably just changed their recipe.
@annev17: There are more examples of cash-only operations than corner stores. The Gothamist article mentioned lots of restaurants (including Peter Luger's, albeit awhile back). My restaurant example was intentional and logical, because a restaurant that is cash only is probably not paying fair wages or providing health care benefits. So, yeah, it would be weird to cut a restaurant slack for trying to avoid credit card fees but then judge people who don't tip when they eat at those same places. My point is, both are wrong. The same applies to a corner store. I'm just guessing here, but my sense is that they are not cutting corners to offer their employees the best possible wages they can afford, or their customers the best possible produce they can afford. They're probably getting away with paying the minimum in every scenario to eke out as much of a healthy bottom line for themselves as possible. That's not horrible in itself, but it's also not a cause to rally around either.
@annev17 Doesn't that mean, though, that those business actually cannot afford to be in business? If they can't cover the costs associated with certain operations, they either need to make the necessary adjustments (higher prices, etc) or get out of that particular game. It's weird how much sympathy we can summon for corporations. Excuse me: small businesses. It's such a trope in our culture/media, to humanize businesses by calling them small and summoning mom & pop operations in our minds' eyes. Rather than, you know, the much more expansive definition that the Small Business Administration uses. In contrast, we're pretty hard line when it comes to actual people. Can't afford to tip? Eat at home, you cheap bastard! (I agree with this, btw.) Also, we would probably say to the customer who is like "I actually prefer cards because I can't afford getting hit by ATM fees at the bodega on top of the ones my bank charges me," that they, too, probably can't afford to eat out. Why do we reserve so much sympathy for one, but so much judgement for the other?