Faced with the prospect of being homebound FOR WHO EVEN KNOWS HOW LONG, some New Yorkers have apparently been hoarding asparagus snatched from the shelves of their local grocery stores. Keep in mind that when the weight of the snow renders your plumbing inoperable and you're trapped indoors for a week, that's gonna be one ~fragrant~ apartment.
The threat of up to 20 inches of snow has sparked the usual run on NYC grocery stores, with long lines reported at Trader Joe's, supermarkets like FoodTown, and Whole Foods, where lines were 45 minutes long by 5 p.m. in Williamsburg (#WHYGOD?). Family-sized bottles of vegetable oil? DECIMATED. Bread products? SHOULD HAVE SHOPPED ON SUNDAY. Bottled water? HOPE YOUR TAP WORKS.
At 4:10 p.m. this afternoon, Gothamist's Scott Heins reported at least a 20 minute wait to access the Trader Joe's on 14th Street, observing that the bouncer (yuuup) was limiting the number of entrees based on how many were exiting. Line rations of mixed fruit and nuts were handed out to shoppers by TJs employees to fortify them for the ordeal ahead. There was a shorter, 25-person line at the wine shop.
"I need groceries so that I don't starve tomorrow, so that I can cook dinner," explained line waiter Taryn Levenstein, 28, of the West Village. "Trader Joe's doesn't scare me off so easily, I'm used to it. I'm planning on getting whatever's in reaching distance from the line."
Heins reports that by 4:30 p.m., stocks of strawberries, blackberries, dates and beef patties had already been cleared, with potatoes, kale and other lettuce greens not far behind. Though it didn't feel busier than an average rush hour at the 14th Street store—outside line not withstanding—it's probable that post-work runs on milk and bread will be intense.
An employee at Trader Joe's tells Gothamist they didn't intentionally overstock the store in advance of the storm; whether there's a restock on already sold-out items tomorrow depends on whether trucks are able to navigate the streets. But the store does plan on being open tomorrow—if employees are able to make it in.
In the checkout line, as Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" blasted encouragingly in the background, Juan Mont, a 28-year-old customer service rep from Chinatown, told us he left work early to pick up supplies of soup and fruit. "I'll cook a lot, eat a lot, rest, and share time with my brothers," he told us of his snow day plans. "And we'll walk outside, if the wind lets us walk."
Additional reporting by Scott Heins