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For All the Lonely Shoppers

To the Editor:

I am not involved in any lobbying campaign on behalf of Trader Joe’s [“Bull Market,” July 9]. In the unlikely even that my own political preference—anarcho-communism with flourishes—ever prevails, Trader Joe’s will deservedly find itself in what Trotsky called the trashcan of history (which is where Trotsky is now to be found.) Meanwhile, I will report on my own experience with Trader Joe’s.

In March, I spend eight days in the San Francisco Bay area, visiting friends and attending an anarchist conference. I stayed with a family in Oakland. The refrigerator and pantry were crammed with Trader Joe’s products. The wife, my former lover, took me to a Trader Joe’s. It was not a big store, but it was amazing how much stuff it had. I don’t know if the staff was especially friendly but it was certainly efficient. The store did not bother with carrying kitchen equipment, or meds, or paperbacks and magazines.

What interested me, as a lonely bachelor, is that Trader Joe’s catered to singles and couples in the size of many of its products. Nobody does that around here, not Price Chopper, not the Honest Weight Food Co-op, nobody. All the lonely people have needs to be met.

For as long as I can remember, every year or two, Metroland has run a story about how wonderful Honest Weight is. I once had a letter here criticizing Honest Weight, which elicited more rebuttal letters than I have seen here on any topic (obviously the same sort of organized campaign that Stephen Leon sees being run on behalf of Trader Joe’s). I suspect that a protective attitude may have colored his story.

But I don’t think Trader Joe’s would take much business away from the food co-op. One of the highest quality products I bought at [Trader Joe’s] was a beef concentrate. You are as likely to find a beef concentrate at Honest Weight as at a Hindu temple. Trader Joe’s would probably take a lot more business away from Price Chopper and Hannaford—or force them to raise their standards, which would tend toward the greatest happiness of the greatest number. So, welcome, Trader Joe’s!

Bob Black


Aw, Shucks!

To the Editor:

Thank you for naming me “Best Public Servant” in the Best of the Capital Region 2009 issue of Metroland [July 16].

Many other public servants could have received this recognition, so I am doubly appreciative that I was chosen for this honor. It makes one feel good that the time and effort put into making Albany a better city does not go unnoticed.

Dominick Calsolaro

Common Council Member, First Ward


Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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