It's Not New York Without its Bodega Boys

bodega-boys-sundays-groceryBodegas - the convenience stores on street corners that stock everything from toilet paper to cigarettes to Arizona Iced Tea. They're a New York City staple that add character and a sense of community to each borough. Unfortunately, with rising rent prices, bodegas in NYC are starting to close down, but the 'Bronx Bullies' (Desus Nice and Kid Mero) are trying to keep the spirit and soul of the bodega experience alive.The duo began with a podcast and web series on Complex called Desus vs. Mero and have continued with a new podcast, aptly named Bodega Boys. While they've branched out to contribute to MTV's Uncommon Sense and Joking off, they remain an authority on the native NYC bodega experience. They shared their thoughts on why these spots are so integral to New York's identity in an interview with First We Feast."The bodega is pretty much the heart of the hood, so we’re giving you that feeling," Desus says. "People call it [our podcasts] barber shop-type talk, but it’s just two dudes talking about whatever the fuck is going on in the world."Check out episode 1 of Bodega Boys, titled 'WE GOT WINGS', below and listen to the entire series here.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/223412554" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]Want to know more about bodegas? Check out @40sandflower's photo project, Bodegas of Manhattan here. Image Courtesy iTunes

Bodegas Are Better Than Others

bodega sundays grocery gvbq-5bodega - noun : a small grocery store in an urban area; also Spanish for 'warehouse'The bodega is a New York staple that may not be understood outside of its urban context. Known for being a convenient corner store, bodegas are usually stocked with everyday essentials such as fresh and prepared food, cigarettes, flowers, beer, and lotto tickets.bodega-sundays-grocery-gvbq-2Bodegas are widely recognized by their bold signage (often in yellow, red or blue), a variety of ads posted in the windows, and a sign vouching for an ATM machine inside the shop. And besides having stock of the basics, most bodegas also carry items that reflect the neighborhood in which they stand. A defining characteristic of bodegas is that they are local, independently owned stores. In a time where commercialization and gentrification are pushing mom and pop shops out, bodegas are key to keeping the livelihood and character of neighborhoods intact.bodega-sundays-grocery-gvbq-1Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata, a Brooklyn-based artist, has been documenting every bodega in Manhattan for her 'Every Bodega in Manhattan' documentary project. In an attempt to capture the identity and heritage of each neighborhood, the project archives a piece of each borough in an ever-changing city. All Images Courtesy @gvbq