Going shopping

This is one way of going shopping for food.

I went up to Harlem to check out few grocery stores. I have been thinking about the relationship between the built environment and food. The idea started with wanting to track back where food, especially fruits and vegetables, come from. Food travels from the point of production to the site of consumption through various means. Grocery store is one of the last stop food makes on it’s long journey. By visiting grocery store and putting myself in a position of shopping with an arbitrary budget and number of people to feed, I tried to experience the spatial politics of grocery store and the neighborhood and to learn about the desires the display and the products impose upon me. I ended up putting a lot of food I wouldn’t normally buy, because they had visual impact on me compared to vegetable/ milk/ eggs and other things that I usually buy. The vegetable produces in this shop were mostly low price and reasonable. I was curious about Harlem because I have only been to Harlem couple of times, although I lived for several months in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Gentrification was very visible between 145st and 125st, however it didn’t look as blend and synthetic like WIlliamsburg. I was expecting horrible architecture and processed food, but the architecture in general were descent and the neighborhood seemed diverse and friendly. Compared to some parts of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, where the community felt hostile and the architecture was either overtly controlled and under surveillance or abandoned, the streets I walked in Harlem felt easier. This specific video is from one of the grocery store I visited. The video is made with help of Stephanie Andreou, another wonderful intern at Eyebeam this summer