The Rise of Western Civilization: The Bodega Years
Ancient Greek “stoas,” meaning “porches,” were built adjacent to open-air markets, creating permanent covered gathering places for the exchange of goods and ideas. Thousands of years later, what New Yorkers know as “bodegas” (literally translated as “warehouses”) carry on the tradition of the Greek stoa, though in a way more suited to the demands of modern life in New York City.
Limited access to real estate and new methods of shipping and storing goods have resulted in a greater diversity of products offered within a smaller space. Indeed, not only are bodegas created in a more condensed form, they are also increasingly ubiquitous, and therefore, ever more convenient. As technology evolves and methods of holding social gatherings bridge both virtual and physical as well as public and private realms, the distance between commerce and private life also begins to collapse.
Therefore bodegas will claim extraneous spaces within residential buildings, allowing people to gather, shop and live in one place. In the perpetual pursuit of convenience, imagine to what end we can perfect the physical requirements of social interaction, consumption and habitation through architecture.