I am happy to say that northwest Stuy is finally getting a Duane Reade. Sure, we’re going to have to deal with surly employees that will take their 15 minute breaks at inopportune times, but remember, each Duane Reade has a Chase ATM!
(Did I forget anything?)
Thanks to Duane Reade, my old bodega has seen the last of me!
This news was really a surprise to me because only a few weeks ago I had nearly given up on wishing for a Walgreens or Duane Reade. Since I’ve been living here, I’ve been going to the pharmacy after work in another neighborhood. I’d been trying to find place nearby and I finally got around to visiting a small pharmacy called Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy located on Myrtle between Spencer and Walworth. I would pass it on the way to the train and the supermarket, and it would catch my eye whenever I visited Cafe Naico. I was very reluctant to go inside because even though it was a pharmacy, the storefront wasn’t very inviting. The security gate was often down, even during store hours, and despite its humble look, you had to be buzzed in.
I finally decided to check it out. I approached the door one sunny afternoon and was buzzed in. There were two young Latino guys working at the cash register and two older Hasidic guys working in the back in the pharmacy section. It was a very tiny space but it had a lot of what you’d expect and a little bit of everything: some cosmetics, baby oil, Q-tips, diapers, tootpaste, toothbrushes, floss, analgesics, etc. I spent some time browsing the two aisles, just to see if I could make this my new pharmacy and skip the train or bus ride to Walgreens, when one of the Hasidic guys shouted at me (not in a mean way) “What do you need?” I told him that I was just looking. There was only one other person in the store, a man who had come to pick up a prescription. One of the cash register guys said “If there is anything that you want that we don’t have, we’ll order it for you.” I thanked him and told them that I would be back. “What a nice little place,” I thought. I couldn’t believe that I waited so long before checking it out. The staff were so friendly that I decided that I would shop there whenever I needed pharmacy items.
Then I found out about Duane Reade’s new location, and the New York cynicism began to emerge.
Maybe the Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy folks were just being nice because they knew that they were getting some competition! Hmpf. Whatever you need, we’ll order it? I’d never had anyone say that to me since I’ve been in Brooklyn!
I pushed these thoughts out of my mind and tried to reassure myself that they were being friendly because they wanted to live up to their name. I’ll probably visit them from time to time, even after the new Duane Reade opens. Be sure to check them out.
Duane Reade (Coming Soon!)
Corner of Myrtle and Nostrand
Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy
712 Myrtle Avenue (between Spencer and Walworth)
Closed on Saturdays