In mid-March, my local Key Food store closed rather abruptly. The shelves stopped being replenished, then everything went on sale, and the store closed a couple of days later. No explanation, no announcement. After a brief lull, all the shelves, freezers, cash registers and other sundry hardware disappeared and the empty hull sat there for a couple of weeks. Then, suddenly, in a frenzy of activity the ceiling was ripped out, the floor was ripped out, the sign was ripped out, and rebuilding started. New floor and electrical connections, the beginning of an air-conditioning system, new windows, new doors.
Now all is silent again and there’s a “Stop Work” order posted on the wall. It looks like whoever is in charge must have forgotten to get a permit for all that construction (section 27-147 of the New York City Administrative Code –it’s reachable the web from here, but there’s no direct link to the relevant section; have they got something to hide?). It’s only something like 60,000 square feet right at the corner of an extremely busy intersection in the heart of Queens. Like nobody was going to notice it, perhaps?