Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bed Stuy II

Before I finish my story from last time, I have to start another story. The local convience store that I have mentioned previously is my favorite. Beyond being about twenty feet closer, it was spaced out so that you did not feel like the shelves were collapsing around you.
It however was not exactly tailored to Allison and I's comsmpolitan tastes, more specifically, its milk selection was appaling. They sometimes carried one or two percent milk by the carton, but even that was rare. Usually they had about ten or more huge jugs of whole milk.
I simply cannot drink whole milk, its cruel (that was a joke, but hard to write). Rather to the point, it tastes like I am drinking butter and I generally find it gross. So on a whim I asked them why they don't carry it.
"Because no one will buy it. It will sit there for two weeks and then we will have to throw it away." The workers there were all nice there.
I replied, "well I promise you that you can sell at least one bottle a week." At the time they probably could honestly have sold more, and I mean just for Allison and I. I have a significant passion for cereal. Its usually the first thing I miss when I am abroad (sorry mom). Cereal has the amazing American quality of being 80% marketing, 18% packaging, and then the actual substance that people in theory pay for, are chunks of wheat. Also, one of my earliest memories was destroying the kitchen in attempt to make cereal by myself for the first time.
Alliison, however, is probably an even greater consumer of milk. She is a predator of milk. One of the sheer absurdities in my new living situation was getting to watch my girlfriend carefully fill an Evian bottle with mlik for the day.
To sum up a long point, we go through a lot of milk. So I felt comfortable saying that we could support their 2 percent purchasers (I would have gone to skim but one step at a time).
The store workers promise to bring in 2%. After a couple of weeks of us checking in, they actually do start carrying it and we start buying it every week.
One Sunday afternoon recently I wanted to play basketball. A court is one of the first things I look for anywhere I move. There was a court only about two blocks away and when I got there it was empty. I played for a while when a large group of guys show up to play.
One of the guys was the person who threatened me, at the time, only about three days earlier. He did not have much of an opportunity to be really mean to me. His friend Q greeted me warmly, and the guy seemed to have enough respect for Q that he just said whatever.
In the end, we ended up playing basketball for a few hours. I didn't exactly school anyone, but I was not a liability to my team. I have been playing there for a while. I have learned to never go into the paint unless you can make a shot while getting fouled. Also, don't call a foul unless you can't get up or you are ready for a game-paralyzing argument.
To this day the guy has been nice to me, and his friends far more so. I ended up with the name Larry Bird, because Q is decisively old school. For the last month they have greeted me warmly.
Why the bit about the convenience store? Right after the game Allison and I went there to get milk. They have all kinds of varieties now. I asked them if they were selling. They all burst out with smiles, apparently the milk has been selling like crazy. Multiple people have asked why they did not carry other kinds earlier.
The community we are in is changing, but I think our understanding of it is changing as well. A new wine store opened, we are making friends out of neighbors and it has been very positive. Also I am getting far better at basketball.