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Brian Van headed over to Trader Joe's at Union Square this morning, and says it was "crowded as hell." He has a set of photographs on Flickr, and we asked him if people were getting green leis, due to St. Patrick's Day. Brian said no, but:

All of the staff were wearing these quirky-patterned shirts (I'd say hawaiian but I'm no authority on shirt patterns) and were happily greeting people. Balloons were everywhere, mostly green and white for St. Patty's day. And there were a TON of food handouts. So many. One guy gave me a handful of some sort of peanut mix, and I happily scarfed it down... only to find out from the searing sensation in my mouth a second later that it was Thai trail mix.

The checkout lines were around the back of the store. As long as any afternoon at the Shake Shack... But, overall, it looks good, real good.

People really love their organic pre-packaged, pre-washed greens, don't they? And we bet the glorious, new-store gleam will disappear after the weekend - everyone will go there to sample food! Curbed says the Trader Joe's wine store is not open for business - perhaps it doesn't want to unfairly compete with the St. Patty's Day bar business.

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Are you going to Trader Joe's? It sort of looks like Fairway on a Sunday afternoon - bring your protective padding!

Photographs by Brian Van

UPDATE: this story is obviously too large to be covered by a single photographer, so we also took the liberty of sending Gothamist favorite JCN up to snap a few pix:

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Holy potassium, indeed!