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thistle

Proximity of Grocery stores?

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So, I was browsing on Chowhound today (at least it wasn't Yelp) & they had a poll on how close you were to a grocery store, specifically within walking distance-so I calculated, I'm .2 miles from a Safeway, .8 miles from a Bestway, but I mostly shop at the Belvoir commissary (1.3 miles, but I think that's as the crow flies, it's a 5 mile drive) & I always drive, because otherwise I couldn't lug all my groceries home.

If I had to, I could walk for groceries, but the lack of sidewalks & traffic (& my inability to haul groceries for 3-4 people) is daunting. Does anyone here regularly shop on foot? I also first said that I had 10 small restaurants within 1 mile, but when I started listing them, realized it was over 20-I was kind of shocked.

Are they all good? Of course not...Have I tried all of them?, probably 75% over the last 5 years, but there's only a handful I visit regularly-Su Pollo, Thai Nakorn, Kimchi House, El Paso (although the last meal I had here was subpar). I just thought it was interesting, I grew up in the sticks, in a town that had maybe 5 restaurants, within 5 miles, & 1 grocery store. I think I'm spoiled here...

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Interesting. I always shop on foot (except when hitting up the Georgetown Safeway for the yearly wine sale) because 1) I don't own a car; and, 2) there is a Safeway, Harris Teeter, Metro Market, and Yes! Gourmet within a few blocks. Plus, the Circulator bus can drop me off at the Target and Giant in Columbia Heights and, staying on that bus, the Whole Foods on P Street. Not to mention the shops in Mt. Pleasant, easily traversed on foot or by the bus. I long ago bought a wheeled cart to take with me when I knew that I would be buying more than I could carry in my hands. I actually bought it for my mother in El Paso, so she could take it to the local supermarket after driving became difficult. My brother had the same idea and also bought one for her. She refused to use it, but I did when I went to visit her and walked to the store. I refused to drive the car the equivalent of three city blocks. You can't imagine the looks of bewilderment I got from it. The suburbs are a different universe.

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It's about a 12 minute walk to the co-op from my house; as a result I spend less money and waste less food because I only buy what I can carry and use within a day or two. Also, for the most part the co-op doesn't carry meat (frozen, mostly), so I'm planning more meals around veg, grains, and beans. That and the walking have been good for me. I take the car to larger stores only when I need something special, or large quantities, or am stocking up on non-perishable staples.

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I shop on foot at my Trader Joe's whenever possible. I often drop by Total Wine on my way home as well. I find that having to lug all my purchases around really helps cut down on the impulse buying, which is imperative for both stores! It's about a 15-20 minute walk for me, but only because I walk really slowly. It's probably a total distance of less than a mile. I do use a car for regular Safeway runs.

I refused to drive the car the equivalent of three city blocks. You can't imagine the looks of bewilderment I got from it. The suburbs are a different universe.

This reminds me of when my sister first moved to Long Island. She lives among extended family and cars were constantly stopping for her whenever she walked somewhere, because friends/family assumed that her car had broken down. They really couldn't understand choosing to walk ;)

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I shop on foot at my Trader Joe's whenever possible. I often drop by Total Wine on my way home as well. I find that having to lug all my purchases around really helps cut down on the impulse buying, which is imperative for both stores! It's about a 15-20 minute walk for me, but only because I walk really slowly. It's probably a total distance of less than a mile. I do use a car for regular Safeway runs.

This reminds me of when my sister first moved to Long Island. She lives among extended family and cars were constantly stopping for her whenever she walked somewhere, because friends/family assumed that her car had broken down. They really couldn't understand choosing to walk ;)

I lived in LA without a car and walked (or rode the bus) everywhere and you can't imagine how many stopped and asked if I needed a ride. I didn't even have my thumb out!

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I pretty much shop by foot daily. Like Barbara. the stores on Mt. Pleasant St. HT, Yes! & (yuck to the next two) the Giant in Columbia Heights and the Safeway on Columbia Road suit me just fine. Waitman gets the good stuff at the Farmer's Market and Black Salt when meat or fish protein are necessary. Though I will say that the fajita meat at the mercado on MtP street does just fine in a pinch and the people that work there couldn't be more lovely.

Even when the kids were at home I still made daily trips to the "street."

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I have a Giant, Whole Foods and a Harris Teeter within what I would call walking distance, I have walked to the Giant a few times, but generally I stop on my way to and from work in the car (Being a lawyer who litigates frequently in different courtrooms across NOVA and now will be in two different offices a week makes commuting in any way but car very difficult, especially because I am the person who gets sent places last minute when we don't trust a courier). I also once every one to two months drive to Wegman's as I feel they are a far superior grocery store in terms of what they stock and pricing.

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My shopping has changed a lot in recent years.

I live about 300 feet from a Safeway. I won't set foot in any Safeway.

Until recently, I had to go to Giant or Fresh Fields. Now I can walk to the Yes. I also have access to the Harris Teeter. And I can walk to the Giant on a nice day.

With the opening of Annie's Ace Hardware on Upshur Street, I may never have to leave my neighborhood again. A granny cart is on my shopping list for this weekend so that I can do larger shopping trips on foot.

(Oh, except for my periodic trips to Wegmans to stock up on Rochester ex-pat necessities.)

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Great topic! I've always been privileged to live within short walking distance of several options, but soon I will find myself in the middle of a food desert. Well, I should qualify that: there are several grim-looking markets next to liquor stores. I'll have more to say once settled.

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I am about a 20 mins walk from a Harris Teeter and Safeway (about .8 miles) from home, but about a 7-10mins walk from a Whole Foods from work. However, I find myself stopping more at the WF on the way from work to home, driving the extra 4 miles to the Clarendon TJ, or driving the extra 3 miles to the Local Market in downtown City of Falls Church, where I feel more comfortable with the groceries I buy (if I can't make it to the Farmers' Market, that is).

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I still call it that too, sometimes.

Whoops.

I have problems remembering the new name of People's Drug Store too.

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Whoops.

I have problems remembering the new name of People's Drug Store too.

Dart Drug or Drug Fair...

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I always shop on foot, usually with a toddler who is either also walking or in a stroller. I haven't had a car in 2 cities or 14 years. Walkable grocery stores have been a key factor in choosing the locations of houses or apartments I've lived in for many many years--even when I had a car, I sometimes shopped on foot.

I also use grocery delivery regularly (probably once a month or more), and I prioritize heavy things for delivery. I've been getting Peapod deliveries for close on ten years now and would call myself an early adopter but for the fact that my mother has been doing online grocery shopping since the dawn of time (viz. the mid nineties).

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I live about 300 feet from a Safeway. I won't set foot in any Safeway.

Until recently, I had to go to Giant or Fresh Fields. Now I can walk to the Yes. I also have access to the Harris Teeter. And I can walk to the Giant on a nice day.

Why won't you shop at Safeway?

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Why won't you shop at Safeway?

Short answer - because they are evil.

Long answer:

I wasn't happy with my experience with them at either the Watergate (did my undergrad time at GW) or on Columbia Road (when I lived in Adams Morgan) or on 17th Street (when I lived in Shaw). But now...

I have lived behind a Safeway for 22 years. It has been a horrid experience. I tried to shop there when I first moved here, and found that the food was generally nasty - either expired, or melted and re-frozen, or improperly stored. The variety of what they carried was atrocious. Also, the store was filthy, the surrounding parking lot even filthier, the trash was a constant problem, and their security was (and still is) a joke.

At many community meetings, Safeway sent out spokesmen who said atrocious things like, "Well, you people steal too much, so we're not stocking expensive items here," and "This store doesn't make enough money for us to replace the freezers," and "We should just close this store, since you people don't appreciate it."

They won't clean the store, secure the trash, call the cops to get abandoned cars cleared from the parking lot, shovel the walks or the lot when it snows, clean grafitti... you get the idea. And my neighbors who will still shop there (God only knows why.) tell me that the inside is still filthy and the products are still awful.

Now they want to redevelop the property, and have been truly dismissive of community concerns, and of the impact this will have on the surrounding neighborhood. And while they keep promising that of course they will clean up RIGHT NOW and that the NEW area manager (I have met several of these) will make sure of it, nothing changes, and I am sure they will be no better once they get their shiny new store and 5 floors of condos above.

They can bite me. And they will (corporately) never see a dime of my money.

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@Pat: I know what you mean. The Safeway on Columbia Road went to great pains to get rid of the competition back in the 1970s; but have finally got their comeupance with the new Giant in Columbia Heights and, more especially, the HT on Kalorama. The problem is that they decreased the variety of goods in favor of larger money-making departments and you still get "attitude" from too many of the workers there, including management. Their seafood department still sucks ventworm nuts.

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My Safeway is not as dire, just more expensive than the commissary, but if I just need 1 thing, I'll run over there. I picked up spare ribs from Bestway for the team dinner yesterday ($2.89/lb vs $1.89/lb untrimmed at the comm) because they were already trimmed St. Louis style (w/ rib tips cut off) & I was tired & didn't have extra room in the smoker for the tips. Bestway has better music than the commissary, I haven't noticed if Safeway even plays music.

I made my first trip down to Wegman's recently, very nice & a little overwhelming, when they open the one on Telegraph Rd., I'm sure I'd hit it regularly. The kids are thrilled that they have Cheerwine.

I'm surprised by how many of you shop on foot, I feel like such a slug...

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