Thursday, June 27

Corner Stores in New Orleans

Corner stores have been anchors in New Orleans neighborhoods for well over a century. The ultimate in convenience, embedded deep in residential neighborhoods where people could simply walk to the nearest corner store to pick up bread, milk, and other necessities. They may also house laudrymats, pharmacies, or neighborhood bars. In addition to providing a service, corner stores also served as a gathering place for the neighborhood where residents could socialize.
In a city that, perhaps more than any other in America, prides itself on the character and community of its neighborhoods, the corner store holds a place of pride. While there are some thriving corner stores still in operation, the rise of big-box chain supermarkets has unfortunately hastened the demise of many of these traditional commercial stores. Gone with them is a way of life. Even when a chain store attempts to blend in with a neighborhood by adding in traditional commercial design, it still seems to lack authenticity.
Every day, a colorful cast of local characters parades in and out of Vicky's Supermarket on Magazine Street, but if you drive around New Orleans you’ll still see lots of other buildings with the corner cut off. That is (or was) a corner store. 
New Orleans is a city that places a high premium on simple pleasures, and it's the unsung cooks and chefs of the corner shops, pubs, late-night grills, and even taco stands that deliver some of the best eats. So, if you're a tourist, don't be afraid to try out these (sometimes hidden) stores since they are a great spot to try something flavorful, local and cheap!

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