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Costco Draws Colombian Tourists, Buffalo Mozzarella Fans

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Who shops at East Harlem's Costco? The New York Times takes a look at this enduring mystery and discovers that the answer is "pretty much everybody." The accompanying slideshow stars—among other shoppers—some Upper East Siders stocking up on yogurt, a wedding shoe designer from Morningside Heights buying a Burberry handbag, and a Harlem family buying 40 pounds of kitty litter for their Persians. Not everyone featured lives above 59th Street: A group of tourists from Colombia (right) explain that they hit Costcos in Miami or NYC twice a year because there's no supermarket as big in Bogota.

If the Costco is an uptown melting pot, though, its sales patterns reflect a certain New Yorkiness. People are constantly looking for merchandise that's healthy, organic, low-calorie and kosher. And they like things small, says general manager Rob Coope: "At most Costcos, large tubs of Polly-O mozzarella easily outsell containers of buffalo mozzarella at nearly triple the per-pound price. Not in Manhattan, though Mr. Coope is still trying to determine whether that is more about a taste for finer things or a lack of refrigerator space."
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517 E 117th St, New York, NY