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© Claire Lawton

Put a Cactus on It — a Succulent Grows in Brooklyn


To spot the latest cool-kid trend, swing by a bodega in Brooklyn. The small, brightly lit convenience stores are on almost every corner in the U.S. capital of hipsterdom, and the owners keep tabs on their neighborhoods before stocking up on organic condiments, fair trade snack bars, and jars of coconut oil.

On a humid night in July, a trip to a bodega in south Brooklyn yields a four-pack of eco-friendly toilet paper and a small potted cactus. When asked about the new makeshift shelf of cacti in front of the store, the clerk barely looks up.

“We sell so many of these things,” he says, attempting to wrap the cactus in a plastic bag. “I don’t get it.”

Corner bodegas in Brooklyn aren’t the only spots repping desert plants. Across the country, icons of the desert abound. But anyone who’s spent time in the West knows the desert hasn’t always been hot.

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Published: Phoenix New Times, September 2015

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