A good bodega is a lifesaver, and having one nearby can be a major selling point for any apartment. Where else can you score emergency diapers, NyQuil, beer, newspapers and coffee at all hours?
No surprise, then, that photographer Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata was inspired to make them the subject of her newest project, in which she photographed every bodega in Manhattan. (Brooklyn's Atlas Obscura is hosting an exhibition of Quagliata's work tonight at 8 pm; she also writes about the project on her Tumblr.)
Quagliata told The Village Voice that she felt a certain urgency to get the project done as she saw more and more bodegas close. In fact, when she went back to re-shoot some of the bodegas after the first round of photographs (which took about nine months), she found that about a third had already shuttered.
Jose Fernandez, president of the Bodega Federation of the United States, tells the Voice that about 75 bodegas closed across the city last year, mostly due to increasing rents. The proliferation of 7-Elevens doesn't help either.
That's a real shame if you ask us, since we've also found that the corner bodega can act as a fill-in doorman, concierge and security guard when you don't have one. And won't somebody think of the cats?