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The Islington of New York

Fascinating and entertaining piece by Gary Younge today on his membership of a food co-operative in Brooklyn. It’s all the better for his self-deprecating tone:

So when, shortly after we had moved to Brooklyn, my partner suggested we join the Park Slope food cooperative, I was reluctant. Since the co-op demands that every adult in a household signs up or no one can join, my partner persisted. I suggested that she lie – not the first time that I would prove the weak moral link in this two-person chain – and tell them that she lived alone.

He’s also enlightening about the culture involved:

When one friend’s father died she called to warn the co-op that she was going to miss a shift. When they insisted she do two make-up shifts to compensate, she objected. Only after several objections that went all the way to the top did they finally and grudgingly relent. “OK,” said the person in charge. “But you only get one death in the family.” Members have been known to call the co-op to report that friends are lying about disability and the size of their households. Little wonder that in 2004 the Village Voice voted it the “best place to experience how communism leads to fascism”.

Much fun.

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