Seen & Heard: Trader Joe’s Is Still Empty

••• Papa Kitchen on Church has closed after just two months, reports B., in what might be a new record.

••• The “Hotel Nouvet” on Franklin (for “Jessica Jones,” it appears) is a fantasy of what Manhattan used to be. And there’s a newsstand across the street—or maybe that was Taylor Swift’s plan all along. As much as I complain about film shoots, I do like when they change what’s visible on the street.

••• While I was out documenting the buildings that will be torn down to make way for Disney, I came across another Peanuts mural on the east side of 304 Hudson. This one might be my favorite.

••• Yesterday at 11 a.m., the Trader Joe’s in Hudson Square was empty. I keep noting this because it must be freaking the company out…. Anyway, while I was there, I bought three packs of pop-up dish sponges. (Love them!) The cashier rang me up, announced that I owned $26, and then said, “Holy crap! I didn’t expect them to cost that much.” So I had to go on about how many sponges you get in each pack (12), and how once you start using good sponges, you really can’t go back. The guy must’ve thought I was ridiculous. (But as I learned later, Williams-Sonoma charges $18!)

••• The other day, an “In the News” roundup had two items about the Collective Retreats tent camp on Governors Island. I reached out to some folks on Instagram to see if I could use their photos, but by the time they said yes I had already posted the item. So here they are, because I think they’re interesting even if there’s no item to go with them. (The first one is by Alexander Mannara; the third is by Douglas Parker.)



  1. Good tip on the sponges! I just bought six packages at Williams-Sonoma on Saturday BUT – they come in the shape of a palm tree. They are awesome!

  2. If Trader Joes had more prepared lunch options available, it would have more customers mid-day. During the first few weeks, that was the only location in the whole store that was crowded.

  3. It was a ZOO on Tuesday night – packed!! The lines wound completely through the store to the frozen foods. Moved quickly. It was actually our family walk for the evening and the staff was kind and friendly.

  4. I love Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately the staff at Hudson Square are not familiar with their products yet, or their location in the store. I’m sure that will change. I frequent the one on 6th and 21st where most of the staff have been there since the beginning and are super knowledgeable and friendly. After Disney and ABC I’m sure business will greatly improve.