When I was little, I thought the word for “supermarket” was “D’Agostino.” Now, New York City’s longest-lived independent grocery store chain is officially shuttering its remaining locations. Amid fierce competition from “nice places” like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, not to mention the popularity of grocery delivery services (which I type while eating a sandwich made entirely of FreshDirect components), a supermarket that never stocks cilantro and whose only fish is terrible and/or pre-breaded and found in the fridge case next to the surimi can no longer keep up.
While I’m certainly nostalgic, given Fairway’s recent demise, my bedroom is also situated directly above the compressor of the D’Agostino downstairs. It is not the soothing white noise you might imagine. The market’s shelves have dwindled down to nothing over the last week. Here’s what’s left:
- organic kosher chicken legs
- ham hocks
- lots of terrible fish that thawed out long, long ago
- Tropicana Farmstand Pomegranate Blueberry
What I’m going to miss the most, though, is D’Agostino’s truly weird advertising, which I’ve been photographing over the past few months. Either they’re relics from the 1990s and therefore a solid attempt to reel in millennials, or the beleaguered grocer’s ad budget could only cover poorly Photoshopping food onto free stock images. Either way, I’ll leave you with these: