What Is There To Say About Costco?Monday, June 20, 2011
For me a supermarket has not always been a dreary place like a Safeway were I might buy substandard croissants or pale red tasteless tomatoes. I still have a feeling that I am entering a place of adventure and surprise.
The reason for this is that the bulk of my jazz LP collection came from Mexican supermarkets of the late 50s and early 60s. It was at Comercial Mexicana where I bought my first Miles Davis, Miles Davis – Live at Carnegie Hall, Zoot Sims – Choice and most of my Dave Brubeck Quartets including Countdown – Time in Outer Space! In fact it was at Comercial Mexicana or at Aurrerá (another Mexico City supermarket chain), not far from the papayas, chayotes, mangos de Manila, calabacitas and Jugo Maggi that I discovered that legendary jazz record label, Pacific Jazz. Who would have known? Those records, while not all pristine, play quite well on my Sony linear tracking turntable today.
It was with that spirit of adventure that Rosemary and I had our first date with a Costco today in Richmond. We stood at attention (we were told to smile) against a wall and had our digital mug shots taken and mere seconds later, with membership cards in hand, we entered the huge concrete bunker full of just about everything except, alas anything related to good jazz.
In preparation for a trip south I found four surprisingly economically priced boxer shorts and equally priced Tommy Hilfiger socks in the right combination of cotton and synthetic.
A huge bin of books produced a couple of “ultimate workbooks”, one Complete Math Smart 8 to help Rebecca to brush up on her math for next year and another for writing in English for Lauren.
Maneuvering around the store was not an easy task. Imagine driving in Richmond on any day and just substitute huge Mercedes SUVs with Richmond residents “driving” shopping carts. What we experienced was unlimited free access to the PNE’s bumper cars!
Then there was the food offered by the checkout (a sign clearly indicated, “Shopping carts on the left, people on the right”). Bottomless soft drinks in huge paper cups seemed to be accompanied by large rectangular cardboard trays full of French fries slathered in ketchup. These seemed to be consumed with $1.99 hot dogs. Rosemary and I tried the Starbucks cappuccinos which were not so, as they were lattes, but pretty good nonetheless. As we left, with a smile in our face I told Rosemary, “This food area should be called the Calorie Bar.
It was with a tad of nostalgia that I slipped into our Malibu’s CD player, Gerry Mulligan’s What is there to Say? and we quickly crossed the Oak Street Bridge into Vancouver.