Coates never mentions the name of the place. I had to find that out somewhere else.
It's the Milano Market. Too pricey for me. Everyone who works there is either Hispanic, or Muslim - or perhaps, African. But that's true of ALL the small markets in all of Manhattan, not just the UWS. There are no white deli help, cashiers, stockers, etc.*
If he was stopped, it was not by a white person.
But of course, it's all whitey's fault.
The comments are sickening. Sometimes the Times actually has perceptive or dissenting comments, but apparently not this time.
This reminds me of 1991 when my wife and I were in the Soho Dean & Deluca, an extremely expensive grocery store, looking for a gourmet gift for our hosts. Standing ahead of us in the checkout line was ... the 7-Up Uncola Nut guy! Geoffrey Holder, 6'6" black Trinidadian classically trained actor (the Haitian voodoo villain in a James Bond movie) with the basso profundo voice and the shaved head.
The kid at the checkout counter (and back then there were white kids working in grocery stores in Manhattan) looked up at him and said, "Hey, you're ... you're ..."
Holder looked down magnanimously and replied in his vastly deep and perfectly modulated voice, "Why, yes, you are right. I am James Earl Jones. But, don't tell anyone. You see, I'm traveling incogneeeeeeeto!" And then he let out a laugh like a gas main erupting and walked off chuckling.