Photo Essay

Where you live equals what you eat?

Photo Essays | ByWill Halsey | Food

November 23, 2010 — A report released yesterday by the New York City Council found that "there are still 1.4 million New Yorkers who live in households that cannot afford an adequate supply of nutritious food" and that "nearly 3 million residents in New York City lack adequate fresh food retail in their neighborhood."

This photo essay looks not at extremes of want, but at Clinton Hill and Cobble Hill, neighborhoods within two miles of each other in Brooklyn at varying stages of gentrification. (Even between these two neighborhoods, however, there are real differences. In general, a greater variety of local food and fresh food — as well as "luxury" food — is available in Cobble Hill.) A future essay will examine the sharp contrast evident in a "low food availability" neighborhood.

  • On Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, Associated Supermarkets has stock typical of grocery store chains.
  • Inside Associated: options are provided, but they are not robust.
  • Across the street, TIJ Fruit Markets and Gourmet specializes in fruits and vegetables.
  • Pioneer Supermarkets on DeKalb Avenue has a wider variety of fresh and some organic produce.
  • Another view of Pioneer: bright lighting, boxed food, brand names.
  • Further west, Karrot Health Food stocks a selection of organic and minimally processed fare.
  • A newly opened branch of Union Market, a large gourmet food store, is on Court Street in Cobble Hill.
  • The Market's marketing: organic and local produce; harder-to-find specialty items like baby octopus and dry-aged beef.
  • A heaping bin of potatoes among Union Market's vegetables selection.
  • Two blocks south on the corner of Union Street, Park Health Foods sells only organic fruits and vegetables.
  • A focus on organic produce can mean higher prices.
  • Fresh carrots in the crisper at Park Health.
  • Also along Court Street, K&Y Fruit and Vegetable, a produce-only shop.
  • Trader Joe's at Atlantic Avenue and Court Street: variety, affordability, and debate about the pros and cons of national chains.