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Not your usual elephantine, city-unto-itself supermarket - Review by cat c | Metropolitan Market

Metropolitan Market

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Not your usual elephantine, city-unto-itself supermarket 5/22/2007

I have always been pleasantly impressed by the relaxed, friendly staff at this store. (even when I've come here to pick up some leafy green trimmings for my guinea pig, in the past). Basically everything you need (in other words, a nice selection), prices maybe a little higher than's not overwhelmed by a dozen choices of something pretty rudimentary. No interminable aisles (think of the Harvard Market QFC) a block long. You can actually find things here without spending 5-10 minutes looking for just one item. I am always surprised that places like this treat you as a human being, while expensive veterinarian offices (for whatever reason) make it ever so clear that they are a business and only a business ("and would you please either make an office appointment or leave" attitude). I attribute that to a propensity on the part of many owners of vet clinics to want to be on a par with whom they judge to be their peers in the bio-tech and information technology fields, i.e., get into the country club. Though the new Safeway next door is glitzier in some ways, this store is much more on a human scale. That Safeway is still an airplane-hangar (in conception and scale), efficient, friendly, but one feels like one is on a conveyor belt as soon as one steps in. No desire absolutely to do anything but get in, get one's stuff, and get out as soon as possible--unless you're the kind of person who finds wandering around/shopping in an airport a gratifying experience). The Big S with its inside face-lift is big, cold, and impersonal (the staff are pretty nice though). And one recent Sunday, in the midst of all the great hub-a-dub, the cashier forget to give me the cash I requested when I used my debit card--I was so anxious to get of there and there was a surfeit of activity going all around me... Actually, the Metropolitan Market (former Larry's Market) down the hill is much clunkier than this one--cavernous in comparison. Am adamantly opposed to building a 6-story QFC (with apartments above). Why don't they tear down the tick-tacky 7-11 down the street instead? From the NYT (May 6, 2007) by Craig Smith : "Yes, life ([in France] is expensive: a web of protectionist regulations has kept a lid on the ability to save money at discount stores and restaurant chains. But that has also kept neighborhood bistros and bakers and cheese shops and charcuteries in business far longer than in most other developed economies, creating a rich fabric of daily life that everyone loves. It is one reason France draws more tourists than any other country each year." more
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