Take a moment and picture a classic New York bodega.
There’s no way for us to know the exact image that popped into your head, but we can guess some of the broad outlines. There were probably lots of hand-written signs and potentially overflowing shelves of fruit just outside the door. Maybe, there was a cat. Or a display of sketchy pills and supplements. Or a loose cigarette. Eh? And a counter where you order the same wrap that’s also somehow different every time? Are we close?
One thing that’s certain is that it did not look like the (perfectly lovely) local gourmet deli that NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang stopped at to film a delightfully poorly executed short video in order to tout his New York bonafides.
New York City loves its bodegas! The 14,000 bodegas are vital to our city - let’s support them and keep them open. 👍❤️🗽 pic.twitter.com/pGb24IerGz— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) January 15, 2021
“Breakfast of champions, some green tea, a banana, how you doing bro,” Yang begins the video by saying before moving on to discussing the importance of bodegas to the city’s local economy. “I love bodegas,” he continues. “So we have to make sure they continue to stay open and do their thing.”
All very admirable sentiments but it’s not quite clear why Yang is discussing the importance of bodegas while standing in a deli and/or fancy gas station off I-87. Not surprisingly, #Bodegas began trending on twitter earlier today as New Yorkers began to weigh into the Bodega Discourse with their own thoughts on Yang’s video.
Lifelong new Yorker: *sobbing* you can't call everything a Bodega— Sad Boy Granddad Majima™️ (@Granddad_Sr) January 15, 2021
Andrew Yang: *points at a closing best buy* let's go to the electronics Bodega
The only bodega content that really matters, two yrs later https://t.co/dhFNAvUFH5— Christine Chung (@chrisychung) January 15, 2021
If you don't hear the sound & smell of Chopped Cheese being made in the grill OR see that random cat lurking around staring at you OR see a Broken ATM, it's not a real Bodega https://t.co/jyVicvMrtS— Michael Blake (@MrMikeBlake) January 15, 2021
Too many people are focusing on the fact that this is not a proper bodega and ignoring the fact that this man is fully unable to operate a banana bunch https://t.co/2NiOBxueg7— sean clements (@SeanClements) January 15, 2021
Andrew Yang in a Bodega vibes pic.twitter.com/rxDKxYTQx1— MC Das Kapital (@Sandernista412) January 15, 2021
My favorite NY bodega 😍 pic.twitter.com/PVz8wKOUfe— Tomey Bones (@TomeyBones) January 15, 2021
Andrew Yang trying to buy ONE banana at the bodega pic.twitter.com/bbW9NDQH9h— Lynx 💛 (@LustrousLynx) January 15, 2021
Cycling thru so many emotions from "thats not a bodega that's a full on supermarket" to "doublefisting the teas respect the BEV levels" to "he left the gd bananas" this year is gonna be so bad— daniel 🌹🐌🧹 (@escargotpro_) January 15, 2021
In any case, if all this talk has inspired anyone to get out there and support their local bodega, it’s probably for the best. Here are 15 bodegas in New York that we especially love.