Bodegas are as much a staple of the New York City landscape as the strip malls and high school soccer fields of suburbia. One part corner deli and two parts social scene, a proper bodega is the type of store you'd duck into for a cheap cup of coffee that tastes like yesterday, or a bag of Chips Ahoy with an ambiguous expiration date. For Jason and Tina, it's the place they meet nearly every morning-after to chat about their sexual conquests, or for J, to brainstorm ways to retrieve his missing "Pants."
We realize, however, that to the untrained eye, a bodega could easily be mistaken for a proper grocery store or, say, a place where you might actually want to buy deli meat, so for those of you unfamiliar with city brick-and-mortars, we've broken it down in a picture-heavy guide. Here are the five things that will help you determine whether or not you're ever at a bodega.
Plastic Hanging Things In Front Of The Bevvies
Used to lock in the cool temps, these murky blinds look better fitted for a car wash than a grocer, but they do the job. Sorta.
Credit Card Minimum Signage
Don't think about putting the two-dollar Chobani on your Visa--the credit card minimum is clearly stated among the 10 signs Scotch-taped behind the cashier. The minimum goes up about 5 bucks if you try to pay for your yogurt with an AmEx.
Extensive Sock Offerings
You might've thought you went in to pick up a new lightbulb and pack of batteries, but what you didn't realize was how much you could totally use a pair of highlighter-inspired socks. Don't look for them in the "accessories" aisle either; they'll most likely be next to the Trail Mix.
Sure it looks like a donut, but go ahead and take a bite. It's actually beef jerky.
Shoddy Surveillance Equipment
Not all security systems are created the same, but the point is to ward off the common street thief, not capture any footage.
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