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We gave the same ten-question survey to bodega owners and staffers all around the city in order to come up with a snapshot of corner-store life in different neighborhoods. What does an egg and cheese sandwich cost in midtown versus in Williamsburg? Who has the craziest customers? Tune in each day for answers from a new area. So far, we've covered the East Village, Midtown, The Lower East Side, and Astoria. Next up: Williamsburg.
Not this specific bodega, but one like it. Image via Shawn Hoke/Curbed NY
Today's bodega owner was happy to be interviewed, but he didn't want his specific store mentioned. What we're allowed to tell you: It's located in South Williamsburg, on a corner that's closer to the J/M/Z than the L train.
1) Where are you from?
2) How long have you been running this store?
About seven months.
3) What are the store hours, and how many hours do you personally work?
We're open 24/7/365. I personally work 2am to 2pm, every day.
4) What's your most popular item, in general? Does it change depending on the time of day?
Sandwiches, always. Egg sandwiches in the morning, and regular ones at night. And beer.
5) Do shoppers ever ask you to carry items that you're not currently selling? What's the most popular kind of request? What's the funniest?
Sometimes, but we will order anything. Someone asked for a different scent dish soap.
6) How much do you charge for cigarettes? What about for an egg and cheese sandwich?
Cigarettes are $11.50. Egg and cheese are $3.
7) Were you open during Hurricane Irene? If so, was it worth it?
Yes, we were open the entire time. We had a lot of business. A lot. No one else was open.
8) How do you keep entertained at work? Do you have a favorite TV show or radio station?
Sometimes I watch TV or read. Sometimes I talk to pretty girls when they come in.
9) What do you think of Michael Bloomberg?
Bloomberg? I don't know. I like President Obama, though. I like everything about America. Look at this (he shows me a cutout picture of Obama meeting with King Hussein of Jordan, which is taped to the side of the wall).
10) Tell us your favorite story of something that happened at work—something funny or heartwarming.
· This Bodega Owner Likes the Status Quo in Astoria [Racked NY]
· What's It Like to Run a Bodega on the Lower East Side [Racked NY]
· After 30 Years in Midtown, This Bodega Owner Still Likes His Job [Racked NY]