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I like neighborhood topics, and am starting this one for fellow EV residents to share very local picks and pans, especially ones that aren't well known.

The biggest news from the EV this season is the new Japanese grocery store at 3rd Avenue and 11th Street - m2m. It represents the very best of cross-culturalization because it brings so many new and better things to the nabes - you might call it the best new club in the EV for now.

First and foremost is the dazzling, super-fresh assortment of fish of all kinds at prices at least 1/3 lower than the supermarket. Then there is great sushi to go, at about $3-7 a pop and some foods that weren't available at all in the nabes before, like quail eggs and even FROZEN OCTOPUS - the real deal, 7.95 for a big old chunck that would feed two for dinner easily.

Then there are the rows and rows of foods that you can't read the packages, but just buy by the pictures. The case full of Japanese beers that you can just sit at a table and drink in there - great people watching.

Last but not least are the hours - open from early morning through midnight on weekdays and I think 2 or 3 AM on weekends.

Rock on Little Tokyo!
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I agree that M2M (or as Flloyd and I like to call it, F2M) is a step in the right direction for the NYU-infested 3rd ave. I'm a big fan of the Unagi which they have for very cheap. But overall I'm still partial to good old SUNRISE MART (it's on Stuyvesant Street just east of 3rd - take the elevator). Viva la japonaise!

One thing I'd like to bring up here is the recent closing of many of our neighborhood markets and stores. BOTTOM LINE (10th & 1st) closed its doors this spring and I used to like to pick up cheap peroxide there! Now I have to trek all the way over to Broadway (where THE WIZ just closed...) to that Halloween-y store that also stocks hair dye (won't say the name here...). There was also a great Italian market on 1st and 10th (on the same block as Commodities) that closed because of the post-9/11 slump. A lot of the stores in the EV depend on our custom, and I urge everyone (no matter what neighborhood) to shop locally. The amount of store-front FOR RENT signs is increasing and it would be a shame to see my local pet store or liquor store or whatever close its doors forever. And locally owned and operated shops are usually friendlier and more helpful. Ever try getting customer service at K-Mart? Not that I'm knocking the Big K but they have stores all over the country to generate $$ for them. I'd rather spend my money locally.
M2M opened about the same time as JAS Mart on St Marks. Cute Japanese cafe upstairs, great Japanese market downstairs! That's 3 for the neighborhood. I love the frozen edemame (whole soybeans). They're a great, easy healthy snack!

There are so many cute Japanese boys in the neighborhood, but I can never tell which ones are gay. The straight ones have cool clothes and crazy hair. It's not fair! glad that the Japanese boom is upon us.. however real sad that we are loosing so many mom n pop stores.... I LOVED my greengrocer on 1st btw 13/14th which now is no longer there! It was so cheap and convenient (Hate buying fruit and veg from Supermarket and commodeties etc is so expensive)..just hope we don't loose the butcher/fishmongers on 13th/1st too!!...and just refuse to pay $3.25 in the Korean deli for gallon of milk which is $2.69 in the supermarket ya know... its just the principal... There's a fab / cheap lil coffee and cake shop on 12th St Btw A/B called Ciao for Now which I love and want to let ya know about that...oh yeah and don't forget the Dominican hearty grub on 13th near to 1st...$3 tubs of beans,rice AND meat! MMMMMmmmmm
But, for the most part, I don't think we can afford to live in our own neighbourhoods! HA!
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What a great little oasis of Japanese cleanliness! I stopped in a couple of days ago, and was thrilled with the selections. Being half asian-oriented myself, I like to fix up some good ol' home cookin', but there are so few places that are very "asia modern". The asian part of me comes from China, and wouldn't you know it, a lot of the food stuffs are the same! I haven't seen a clean and non-smelly selection like that since my last visit to my parents' home in Texas. wink
Have you noticed that Chinese massage/acupuncture places have suddenly appeared on nearly every block in the neighborhood? I've been frequenting the one on 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd. It's absolutely amazing! I do the one hour massage (no "release," sorry) and it's really intense! They do that stuff that kinda hurts but feels soooo good later. There's one guy, Michael, who's the absolute best. He makes me feel so good, I think I'm in love with him! He's kind of a hot Chinese daddy!
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There's also a fab Chinese massage place on 12th St nearest to 1st Av.

There's a new Internet/xerox place opened on 14th (nr to KFC on 2nd)...

Oh the Associated supermarket on 14th btw 1st and A is expanding.... and opposite there is a new Chinese accupuncture place i am yet to try out...

I'm still looking for a hairdresser though... in the hood or someone who would come to mine.. who is decent priced!!????

Let me know.....

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