Postcard from (Safe European) Home

There aren’t too many things I really miss about living in Park Slope. Except the Food Co-Op. And Gorilla Coffee, whose premises I’m sitting in right now, wired to the gills on the Nicaraguan, using the free wi-fi, listening to Give ‘Em Enough Rope which is being played loud enough to necessitate aspirin.

There aren’t too many things I miss about English food, either. Except when it comes to the holidays, and I start longing for what they call ‘comfort’ foods. So I just popped into the local Key Food which became famous a couple of years ago for introducting an English imports section. (There are so many damn Brits in Park Slope that, yes, the local supermarket has an “English” section.) As I loaded into my bare arms (baskets being for cissies and the organized) an assortment of Heinz Baked Beans, McVities digestives, Jaffa Cakes, mince pies and HP Sauce, the manager watched me and exclaimed, “Man, you’re getting yourself a serious fix.” He then followed me to the check-out to tell me they would shortly be receiving British bacon and blood pudding – to which I replied that, the unhealthy food in my arms notwithstanding, I’m actually vegetarian. He did not ask me why, in that case, I was buying mince pies.

All I need now is a pint of Old Speckled Hen at The Gate while eating a mushroom pie from the Chip Shop while talking to bartender Gary about the latest Spurs results and it’ll be like I never left. London or Brooklyn, I’m not quite sure.

PS: Posie, if you’re reading this, the new owners put a new light outside the downstairs door. Otherwise the place looks exactly the same.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. 18 December, 2005 at 11:31 am

    I heard another reason they have the English section at Key Food is that the Caribbean population around here likes it too.

    Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights is a great place for the odd English treat and it is half the price of Key Food/Myers of Keswick. Indians love Ovaltine!

  2. 18 December, 2005 at 6:25 pm


    As you’re apparently a Park Sloper, you may want to keep spying on that sectino of Key Food and see who actually buys the food. There are so many Brits in the SLope I always assumed they brought the goods in for us – though of course everyone’s welcome to share the joy of Custard, blancmange, jaffa cakes and the like.

    As for the price, the food is so damn unessential I don’t mind the extra dollar or two for the privilege. $3 for a pack of Jaffa Cakes is certainly more expensive than for a packet of Oreos but hey, nobody’s forcing me to buy the stuff. In fact, for 11.5 montsh of the year back when I was in the Slope, the prices served to remind just how much I did NOT actually need any of it.

    Thanks for the post – I’d love to keep hearing from Park Slopers, especially as I no longer live in the hood.



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