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PS Picks: Emily Mester's Sharply Observed BuzzFeed Essay on Costco

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.
Empty boxes of produce at Costco.

Empty boxes of produce at Costco.

This PS Pick originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of


Emily Mester's new essay for BuzzFeed on Costco contains budget deals on coffins, a hoarding father, the unsettling newness of old things, and the well-loved oldness of new things. It's about many Americas and the empty parking lots in between. Sharply observed and rich with detail, it's probably safe to say that Mester wrote this thing at a Costco, which "lacks the earthy bourgeois glamour of Whole Foods, or Target's warm graphic buoyancy, or the hot American urgency of 7/11." Many of the essays in BuzzFeed Reader's recent series on class are worth your time—including this one from Alexander Chee—but above all, Mester on Costco is unmissable.