Friday, November 12, 2010

Forget Duane-Reade . . .

. . . You know that you're just an ordinary neighborhood after all when the nail salons begin moving in. Haha!

That's down near the L train station on Bedford Ave. Not a great picture but I took it on a whim one evening walking home. Same with the shot below.

The now notorious Duane-Reade up on Bedford Ave. near North 3rd Street that opened last week.

As usual, the New York Times aims to put it all in perspective for you . . .

Williamsburg and the Chain Stores

Some random thoughts:

I am not a big Duane-Reade fan at all. There's nothing wrong with their products except that they're usually a little more "white bread" than I like. What annoys the hell out of me is that they aim to monopolize the drug store business in New York City.

It's like the old Model T, you could have any color car you wanted . . . as long as it was black.

You can go to any drug store you want, no one is stopping you . . . as long as it's a Duane-Reade.

There is a Duane-Reade three blocks away on Kent Avenue. People need a D-R on each corner?

Also, I like Anthony at King's; he's a nice, friendly guy who makes you feel like you're really appreciated as a customer.

Yes, we could use another supermarket in the neighborhood to balance C-Town and Tops, but Food Emporium is hardly the low cost chain I would welcome. Instead of two pricey supermarkets, we would have three.

We're only a couple of stops from Union Square on the L. Food Emporium, Trader Joes, Whole Food, Garden of Eden, and scads of other places. Nor are we that far from all the stores of Greenpoint and the Greenmarket in McCarren Park, so we don't lack for variety, just variety right around the corner.

Now let me go and check out that Facebook page!

The Boycott Duane-Reade Facebook page is interesting because there is a lot of give and take there about those wanting to boycott Duane-Reade maybe being not a hell of a lot better than anyone else; wanting to keep the high end little food shops and boutiques, and having displaced the old neighborhood residents and caused higher rents just as newcomers are supposed to be doing now.

It reminds me about all the brouhaha over Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village going co-op and pushing the longtime middle class renters out in favor of the newly rich who can afford higher prices; but no one remembers that ST-PCV themselves displaced a lot of lower-income people when blocks of housing were condemned and demolished to make room for the middle class renters.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Lately, I've been feeling a bit like Old Mr. Grace; I don't get around much anymore. Between my plantar fasciitis (it wasn't a bone spur after all), which is improving with the new sneakers I bought, and the, apparently irremediable, breakdown of my PC, my blog hasn't been doing too well lately.

A lot of photos are stuck on the hard drive of the PC. I hope I can rescue them when I get the new PC but that remains to be seen.

At least I didn't have to walk too far to watch the marathon pass through Williamsburg, just a block. And I was able to download some photos and videos to a friend's laptop, burn them to a CD, and take them to my office Mac to upload at lunchtime. A roundabout way of doing things but better than nothing.

So here are some random photos and videos of the NYC Marathon as it passed Grand Street and Bedford Avenue yesterday morning. I think my friend with the laptop took much better photos (he has a much better camera) that I may add later.

That bakery in the background of the video (and the top photo), La Villita, is the best little bakery in the neighborhood, owned and operated by a bunch of wonderful people.