Letters to the editor, Jan. 23

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

A plug for D’Agostino

Amidst the excitement over the new Trader Joe’s, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind ST-PCV residents that there’s a terrific and convenient D’Agostino at 355 First Ave., between East 20th and 21st Streets, where the old Gristedes used to be. The store has been completely renovated, and now sports clean, bright, wide aisles, a salad and readymade food bar and a pleasant seating area with chairs and tables, where a weary shopper can also comfortably perch while reviewing a shopping list.

Best of all are Larry the manager, and his always helpful, friendly, and kind staff (thank you, Jose, Theresa, Zenia, Rose, Brandon, and anyone whose name I may have misspelled or inadvertently omitted), who always give customers the kind of personal service so very rare and sadly lacking in the impersonal online or chain big box experience. Whether helping you locate the products you want, or checking you out and bagging or delivering your groceries, the staff always offers help with genuine warmth and smiles.

Larry the manager has been unusually responsive when I have asked him to carry products I always bought at Gristedes, including lactose-free products made by Lactaid and other companies, as well as Levy’s “Everything” Rye Bread, which has all the great taste of an everything bagel, but with far fewer calories. If you’d like to buy a product that’s not there, just let Larry know. As a jaded New Yorker, I never expected anything would happen, but to my surprise and delight, within days, the products I asked for were on D’Agostino’s shelves!

Oh, and another bonus: You can still use your Gristedes loyalty card that ensures you get the good sales prices, senior discount and also helps you collect points that give you five bucks back after having spent a certain amount. (If you have privacy concerns, don’t worry: I’ve signed up for grocery store loyalty cards with names like “Mickey Mouse” and “Clark Kent”; so you can still get your bonuses and protect your privacy.)

Elaine, Stuyvesant Town

Farewell to Butch

Dear editor,

We said farewell until we meet again. On Friday, hordes of people filled the Immaculate Conception Church on 14th Street and First Avenue to console each other. “Butch is gone… it will never be the same” reverberated throughout the church. People showed up with overnight suitcases, some from Kentucky, Las Vegas, and New Jersey etc. to pay their respects. John was one in a million… still bringing us all together. What I noticed was there was no discrimination in who John loved and befriended, different genders, sizes, religions, ethnic groups and from all walks of life was there.

When I returned home I mulled over the many statements shared with me: “The Management of Stuy Town named Playground 9 for John ‘Butch’ Purcell because John was instrumental in teaching and bringing the young men in the community together. We didn’t campaign for the naming of the playground,” says Mark Toledo.

As important as John Purcell was to each of us, his physical body is not here but his deeds and message remains: We Are One. Join with me and the deeds that bring us all together, do them in the name of John.

I met John in Harlem and when I moved to East Midtown Plaza found that he was affectionately called the Mayor of Stuy Town.

Michelle Winfield
East Midtown Plaza

11 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, Jan. 23

  1. I guess if you’re a trust fund kid or a stock broker, you can afford to shop at D’Agostino’s. The prices are atrocious. Some are almost double what I pay at Target or C Town. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the prices, the cleanliness and the helpfulness of the workers at C Town on Ave. C. I wish I had shopped there years ago. It’s one of the better supermarkets in Manhattan. D’ag is just as bad as Gristedes and I don’t think a person of modest means can affordably shop there. Quite honestly, you sound like a shill for the company.

  2. How can anyone extol the virtues of D’Ag’s – where the prices are rip-offs? Have to be rich or incredibly naive or too lazy to walk a few blocks. $6.99 for butter – even costlier than Morton Williams. This is one example of many. In spite of the ‘Card’, there’s no excuse for the high prices. By the way – butter is $2.99 at Trader Joe’s or Target – and just as good quality.

    The thug who owns Gristedes and D’Ag’s like this one is a billionaire – he gives nothing back
    to the community.

  3. Ditto to all 3 posters here re Dags.

    “Quite honestly, you sound like a shill for the company.”

    Ditto 2.0 for that particular post.

  4. Double ditto on Dag’s discouraging pricing. And that’s why the store has seen little business for the last 15-20 years. It’s always near empty. I’ve always assumed they own the property. It’s the only reason to endure such poor sales. And with Trader Joe’s providing competition business will be even slower. They should start playing old time Muzak so staff can catch a nap.

  5. Yes I agree the new store is much nicer. The sushi especially is as good as Hane in my opinion. And the hot and cold food buffet table is maintained clean and orderly. They’ve done a most excellent job.

    • Hahaha. It’s easy to be good as Hane – overpriced and mediocre. There’s no justification
      for the exorbitant prices at this store. Guess we have plenty of folks in our neighborhood who don’t care about costs.

    • ROTFLOL! Hane’s Chinese “Sushi” is over priced, tasteless and likely dangerously unhealthy. The only people who’d eat that slop are the same yuppie lemmings who pay 4K for a 1BR apt.

      • You’re spot-on about Hane’s – but it’s the old-timers who revel in Friday night two-for-one cocktails and who don’t want to walk past 20th St – who have kept this place going. Don’t blame newer tenants for all ills including the mediocre restaurants. The people who’ve been here longest, and who happen to pay very low rents have enabled the mediocre restaurants in the neighborhood.

      • Kidding, right? It’s the OLDER tenants paying LOW rents who enjoy the 2-for-1 cocktails at Hane’s (and who won’t walk more than a few blocks to go to a restaurant). Blame them for the awful restaurants in the neighborhood. It’s taken YEARS.

  6. I see it’s the same Richard Bryan who endorsed Management’s plan to remove names from the intercoms. Paid shill.

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