Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Walgreening of Duane Reade

Anyone who has ever traveled to South Beach with me knows of my fascination with the Walgreen's on Lincoln Road. No matter what hotel I am staying at I feel the need to stop in Walgreen's at least once if not twice a day. Sometimes it is with purpose and sometimes just to wander the aisles for a few minutes before calling it a night. I am fascinated not only with the diverse clientele, but with the array of items you can purchase, beach hats, cookies, bananas  and flip flops, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

OK, so maybe it sounds a little crazy, but I've always considered that particular Walgreen's to be part of the tourist attraction of Ocean Drive.

Anyway given my thing for Walgreen's on Lincoln Road, you would think I would be happy they now own Duane Reade. You would think I would be happier still that they are in the process of renovating my most visited Duane Reade to resemble Walgreen's. But I'm not.

At first I thought it was because every time I've walked in there in the last few weeks they have rearranged the furniture. Trust me.  I am not exaggerating. No one seems to be able to make up their mind where everything is going.

I thought  I was just annoyed  because finding a box of Kleenex became a scavenger  hunt that even the workers had trouble solving for me.

But now I know it's something different. It may still (very smartly I might add) say Duane Reade outside, but it's not anymore. Maybe it's a little too clean, a little too bright. Maybe it's a little too organized. Or maybe it just looks a little too suburban Midwest to be sitting on Broadway.

It doesn't even resemble my favorite one on Lincoln Road. And even if it did, I don't want to be able to buy a pair of cheap earrings in Duane Reade much less a pair of socks. This is Manhattan. You don't  go to Duane Reade to buy earrings or socks when you live in New York!  It's a drugstore. Or it was. But then that's what Walgreen's started out as too.

I understand the brand new one on 72nd and Broadway above Trader Joe's now sells beer.  You would think there would be a law against selling prescription drugs and beer under the same roof. They must get around it by requiring you bring your own growler for the beer.  My guess is if you've forgotten yours they can be found sold  separately somewhere else in the store. Maybe near the Kleenex so you can have them handy if after a few sips of beer you decide to start crying over all this change.

I know you're reading this and thinking, isn't this the woman who likes change, whose coaching practice specializes in change?  Is this her complaining about a change? The answer is yes, but I am also  a New Yorker, and as much as we like change, we are creatures of habit in other areas, especially when it comes to our neighborhood conveniences.

Now if in the process of Walgreening the Duane Reade they want to bring some change no one will complain about, they might want to start with the price of a roll of toilet paper. I checked yesterday and that was still at the Duane Reade price of $1.49 a roll.
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