City-dwellers will tell you that one of the greatest features of urban life is the bodega, also called the convenience, corner, or party store, the little shops that stock all of life’s necessities. They may not be as large as suburban supermarkets, and their prices may not be as competitive (translation: you’ll pay through the ass for a carton of eggs), but many of them have become community hubs, a place to pick up packages and find out the neighborhood news while admiring the cat. Some, like this one in my neighborhood, are even art galleries.
Like everyone else, bodega owners have adapted to life in the time of COVID-19. One storekeeper in Philadelphia has devised a novel way to keep their customers safe: they’ve taken photographs of the store shelves and left them outside so shoppers can request items and them receive them through a window while maintaining a safe social distance.
In some ways, it’s a return to an old 19th-century model of grocery shopping in which clerks would have to serve each customer individually. But the photo collages themselves could also be considered works of art.
Another bodega owner in the Bronx has created another work of sign art. This is more like poetry:
They are also very solid rules to live by in these times, no matter where you live or where you shop.