8.12.2005

The treasure hunt

So there's this grocery store called Treasure Island. I personally don't like it, but it's still around, so there must be people out there who do.

Treasure Island is one of those places that some people love for the same reasons others hate it. It is, figuratively, a treasure hunt. Disorganized, poorly stocked and randomly contained here are jillions of foods and brands you've never come across before. So you're walking along, scanning the aisles when WHOA - Turkish olive oil? Hold up - obscure Greek cheese? Wait - hang on - wasn't I in the bread aisle? Oh but now it looks like it's turning into the condiments section. What's a random bunch of pineapples doing here?

Maybe it's not quite that crazy, but it feels that way. Some people love it, because you "discover" new things; others hate it, because you can't seem to find what you're looking for!

The best example of the Treasure Island experience is the Produce Guy. He stands in the middle of the section, in front of a giant scale. He takes what you've got, weighs it, wraps it and prints a price tag. He engages you in pleasant conversation. He comments on your tomatoes. He tells you they look good.

I bet there are people out there who love this guy. After all, he's nice! He breaks up the monotony of shopping. But he also stops the flow. He's like a record scratch in my grocery experience. I don't want to interact with a human until I'm done. But I must wait for him, chat, let him bag and tag my veggies, and then get back into shopping mode.

Just like Treasure Island, the Produce Guy is inconsistent, quirky, a little original and a little annoying. The entire experience feels like we're in the 1950s, or we're in Europe, or we're dreaming. Treasure Island is a nice change of pace, but as someone who loves organization and craves efficiency, I'd rather wait in the car.

5 comments:

gone said...

Address, please!

hillary said...

is it organized by region or something? because i always did think that it was european or something. how many are there? which did you go to?

sara said...

I think Treasure Island claims to be 'European,' or 'International' or something. This claim is written on a really faded wall next to the store...which seems like it's just plain old.

I went to Treasure Island at the corner of Broadway and Stratford, it's 3640 N. Broadway in Lakeview.

KayseaLove said...

Interesting...

Stacy said...

I've found that when I'm searching through piles of stuff, I get the feeling that I'm somehow getting a deal. Like if I have to work for it, it must be cheaper than the competition. This works well for places like Goodwill or something, but is Treasure Island actually any cheaper than a regular grocery store?

I witnessed this phenomenon firsthand the other day when I was passing by a clothing store with a few co-workers here in New York City. It was an adorable store with some really cute clothes in the window, and someone commented on one particular outfit. Another woman warned her against the store, though. She said, "When you walk in, there's clothes thrown all over the tables, they aren't even folded or anything. So you think it's going to be really cheap, until you dig up a cute t-shirt and realize, 'Hey, this is $90!"