OK, Glass — let’s bring a Whole Foods to the Bronx.

 Ruth Papazian shows off her Google Glass, which is situated above the right eye and allows users to search the internet, access navigation programs and send emails in addition to numerous other features.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

Ruth Papazian shows off her Google Glass, which is situated above the right eye and allows users to search the internet, access navigation programs and send emails in addition to numerous other features.

OK, Glass — let’s bring a Whole Foods to the Bronx.

That’s what Morris Park resident Ruth Papazian is saying since she won the hot Google gadget in the Twitter contest, “If I Had Glass.” Papazian isn’t using the revolutionary wearable computer to pretend it’s cool to be using the revolutionary wearable computer, but for one more utilitarian reason: to get better food shopping in the Bronx.

“I wanted to leverage the excitement and sexiness of Google Glass to investigate why the Bronx doesn’t have amenities that other neighborhoods take for granted,” Papazian said. “Every time a franchise gets opened in the Bronx, it doesn’t have to be a McDonald’s or a Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

So Papazian has spent the past two months snapping thousands of photos and videos of Morris Park Ave. storefronts, documenting the current state of her neighborhood’s hub — all beginning with the simple command, “OK, glass.” Papazian believes outdated perceptions are to blame for her neighborhood’s nutritional misfortune.

“We are the Rodney Dangerfield of boroughs,” Papazian said. “Morris Park is a solidly middle-class, pleasant and safe neighborhood, but it is a food desert.”

Ruth Papazian has made it her mission to showcase Morris Park Avenue in an effort to bring upscale grocery stores to the Bronx.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

Ruth Papazian has made it her mission to showcase Morris Park Avenue in an effort to bring upscale grocery stores to the Bronx.

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Google has given advanced copies of Glass to “explorers” to use the product across a variety of fields. Papazian got hers after tweeting, “If I had glass I would be the only hipster in the Bronx (and) would blog about why the Bronx deserves respect and a Whole Foods on Morris Park Ave.”

Since receiving her Google Glass in May, Papazian has blogged — hands free! — to push for improved amenities.

Bronx officials have taken notice.

“I am very pleased to see that Ms. Papazian is using this opportunity to showcase the Bronx in such a positive way,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We welcome Ms. Papazain’s ideas and look forward to hearing more from her and other Bronxites as we continue to build the ‘New Bronx.’”

There are currently 27 Whole Foods locations in the Tri-state area, including seven in Manhattan. The company currently has no plans to open a Bronx location.

Joey Scarborough/New York Daily News

There are currently 27 Whole Foods locations in the Tri-state area, including seven in Manhattan. The company currently has no plans to open a Bronx location.

More than one in seven Bronx residents were not satisfied with their ability to get healthy, nutritious food, according to a 2012 report. And many Morris Park residents often travel outside the borough to get the victuals they crave.

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“Bronxites are going to the suburbs to shop, and those who don’t have cars will head downtown and literally carry the food on their backs to the subway or bus,” Papazian said. “Sometimes you buy too much and it is too heavy. It has happened to me. You have to take a $ 45 cab ride home. It’s like a commuter tax on your bill, because Whole Foods doesn’t think the Bronx is their market.”

Whole Foods confirmed there are currently no plans to open a store in the Bronx.

“We are proactively seeking opportunities throughout the area,” said Michael Sinatra, a spokesman for the chain, whose seven city stores are all in Manhattan. A store in a tony portion of Brooklyn will open by the end of the year and a Harlem location will follow in 2015.

So for now, Google goggle-wearing Papazian will continue the fight, planning on taking it to the next level: A Michael Moore-style documentary.

“It would love to do something like ‘Roger and Me,'” Papazian said. “I would go to Whole Foods headquarters and ask why the Bronx doesn’t have one.”

jscarborough@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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