Monday, August 25, 2008
You'll have no problem, once you stroll down Flatbush Avenue, noticing the many corner grocery stores, often known to New Yorkers as bodegas. They're a one-stop shop for just about anything one could crave on a Sunday morning. An egg sandwich? Sure, coming right up. Hot coffee? How do you take it? The No. 3 scratch ticket? Here you go, good luck.
So when I strolled out of church and onto Flatbush, I thought I'd have no problem finding the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
I might as well had been looking for the Times Mirror of London.
Three stores in a three block radius did not carry the Times, just a few tattered copies of the Daily News. Newspapers were largely out of sight amid the muted bustle of this particular Sunday in Brooklyn; the manager at the ubiquitous drug store, Duane Reade, said they had stopped selling newspapers long ago. As a journalist, I felt as if my calling had no currency.
I should note, that it was the complete opposite to the feeling I had on of a recent visit to a quaint Northern Virginia neighborhood where it seemed that everyone was reading the Post's Style, Business or Sports Section over some sort of omelet, their dogs obediently chained to a fence. This, I thought, was pretty cool. Every bit the status symbol, I never thought I'd see the day where the newspaper was so sexy.
It was Jemele Hill who asked, "If you put a newspaper down in a barbershop, do you have any idea how many people will read it?"
The answer is a lot. Amazing how enthralling a free newspaper is, versus one that costs you 50 cents. If for nothing else, I bought the paper to make a statement: Newspapers aren't dead. Not there. Not in front of the No. 2 train on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.
Anyway, your probably wondering where I found the paper. Not at the bodega or Dunkin Donuts or Duane Reade.
There's a newsstand on the corner. continue...