I think the biggest thing I’m going to have to get used to in the new house is having to make actual grocery shopping trips again.

There’s a small mom-and-pop grocery store just down the street from my new place, but it’s more of a convenience store than a place to get groceries at. Fortunately, there’s actual grocery stores not too far away, but the nature of White Center is that it doesn’t seem very walkable, and even riding my bike there seems a bit risky.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had to rely on transportation for getting basic necessities, though. For some reason I feel like reminiscing over my timeline of that:

  • Early 90s: in high school, when I first started driving and could do some grocery shopping on my own, the nearest grocery store to home was a 2-mile drive away, across very unwalkable terrain (lots of hills, no sidewalks for major parts of it, no bus service in my neighborhood).
  • Late 90s thru 2003: in college and grad school I did most of my grocery shopping at an Albertson’s which was, again, not even close to walking distance from anywhere I lived (usually a 3-mile drive in, again, an extremely not-bike-friendly city). I also had a very brief stint in unincorporated Fairfax, VA in 1999 and grocery shopping was quite the excursion.
  • 2004: I lived in NYC and there was a pretty okay grocery store right across the street, and I very quickly became spoiled.
  • 2005: I lived in downtown Seattle and there was a vaguely okay grocery store at street level in my apartment building, although I’d usually drive to QFC a mile away instead.
  • 2006: I lived in Ballard and my bus dropped off right in front of Town & Country so groceries were an easy part of my commute.
  • 2007: I lived in downtown San Francisco and my apartment was right over a Whole Foods.
  • 2008-2012: I lived in the outer Mission in San Francisco and there was a Safeway a block away, as well as plenty of small Mexican grocers on the way between my home and the BART station and also a pretty good Middle Eastern grocery nearby.
  • 2012-2021: I lived in Capitol Hill, Seattle, literally next door to a QFC and a block away from a Whole Foods.

Conveniently enough, the closest actual grocery store also gets the best reviews overall (and is a discount grocer with cheap produce, which is the main thing that both QFC and Safeway suck at) and that’s also pretty much on the same street as me, so that’s probably feasible to bike to. Or walk to, if I can abide the lack of sidewalks.

Anyway I guess my electric bike and trailer will finally be getting a lot more use.


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