New York, NY
Historically, bodegas have served as social gathering centers for neighborhoods, going far beyond super markets and grocery stores by offering informal services like jobs connections and advice on finding apartments. Unfortunately, New York City’s bodegas have been closing by the hundreds over the past few years, not being able to compete with big chain stores like CVS and Duane Reade. Business Insider published a startling statistic that “in 2010 on a 33-block stretch of Broadway alone there were 137 store closures.
Where can we find a new home for bodegas and reinvigorate them as social hubs?
The interesting thing is that we as New Yorkers are closest together in the subway, and yet subway cars are actually the most unsocial spaces in the city – everyone does their best to ignore each other.
“By mashing together the bodega and the NYC subway system, it’s possible to reimagine both,” says Hoffman, “and create a whole new space for socializing, gossiping, and shopping – all while commuting, turning New Yorker’s least favorite activity into the most memorable.”
Location: New York, NY
My Role: Principal