Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


How do you get to Duane Reade? Turn right at the other Duane Reade

Filed under : New York City,Stores
On June 14, 2006
At 12:24 pm
Comments : 18

Here’s a sign that there are too many of a certain store in your area. You can stand at one and see another. I can do this at several Starbucks in New York. But a special category exists for Duane Reade, the unbelievably ubiquitous drugstore in this area. I knew I had to write about this topic when I had the following exchange with a guy at DR.

Me: Didn’t you used to carry Aveda? Where’s the Aveda?
DR Guy: I know we do.
(searches, finds another guy, they both search, nada)
DR Guy: I guess we don’t have it anymore. Try the Duane Reade across the street.

Yes, try the one across the street. That’s when a blog entry formed itself in my mind.

I used to think Duane Reade was a guy. Hey! Duane! But one day I was serving jury duty, wandering around an area far further downtown than I ever go, when I happened upon a Duane Reade at the corner of Duane and Reade streets. Duh.

My friend Becky, who now reads this blog, once told me that she read about the secret to DR’s success. It’s that they will take any space. If you go into CVS or Rite Aid, they’re all nice and organized in tidy rows. If you know where the shampoo is in Peoria, you probably know where it is on 96th Street in Manhattan. DR is not like this. Some stores are L-shaped. Some have two levels. Some look like mazes, complete with arrow signs guiding you to the pharmacy. Once, my nearest Duane Reade moved across the street. I knew I was fucked. I would never be able to find anything again.

I know what you’re thinking (don’t I always?). Surely you exaggerate, Becca. Right. Here’s a picture of the two Duane Reades facing off across the street from each other.

Click to enlarge.

Can’t see the left one? Here’s a close-up.

I know it looks older and dirtier but I like the one on the left because it’s all on one level. Plus I know where the shampoo is. I really have to go back and find the Aveda.

I only shop at DR because it’s everywhere I want to be, as they say. But when I get it together enough to want a lot of pharmaceuticals at the same time, and I don’t want to spend $6.99 on toothpaste, I haul my ass down to K-Mart. There is no Wal-Mart in the city, not that I’d shop there, and Tar-jhay is cautiously circling around the outer boroughs. There is really no reason to tell you this except people seem to like those touristy photos without having to actually come here and pay $300 for a hotel room. So here’s a shot of the nearest landmark to K-Mart. You may recognize it.

Of course, as everyone knows, the Empire State Building changes its colors to salute various causes and holidays. I think the lighting theme here represents “Colors Becca Would Never Wear Day” which is celebrated throughout the world.

I wanted to link to The Rolling Stones’ She’s A Rainbow, but they’d only give me 30 seconds. And thankfully, there are no songs I know of about Duane Reade.

So let’s go with the song I was listening to today on the subway. They’re from New York and this is an awesome song.

The Walkmen – The Rat

Here’s hoping I never have a post that references this subject matter.


18 Comments for this post

  1. Jane says:

    If it’s Colors Becca Would Never Wear Day, I am already dressed appropriately I think.

  2. Kay says:

    Nigel was stunned by all of the DR stores, despite years of prepping him for it. I can’t wait until they start putting Starbucks inside the Duane Reades!

  3. Becca says:

    Jane, I can see you from here!

    Kay, it’s the part of NY they mever mention in the tour guides, isn’t it?

    And ha! Yes, I expect they will.

  4. Jan says:

    I hate DR — I swear, whoever stocks those stores just throws shit on the shelves with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.

    I love CVS, although I have recently learned they’re almost as evil as WalMart. I choose to ignore that and continue to shop there. They’re the only place that sells my Palmer’s cocoa butter lip stuff, FFS. What am I going to do, boycott and suffer from severely chapped lips? I think not.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Last time I went to NYC I was thinking “Who the frig is Duane Reade? That dude must be richer than Trump!”

    Thanks for clearing that up for me Bec. The jewball is once again entertaining and informative.

    Hugs and kisses,

    Mrs. Giambi-Phillips

  6. Becca says:

    Jan, a girl has to have her priorities. I understand.

    Mrs. G-P, one Yankee per reader. I’m really sorry but you can’t have both.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh Bec come on!

    You know I can handle two.

  8. Becca says:

    You are missing the “not enough to go around” aspect, though.

  9. PsychoPants says:

    becca, i adore you. i adore everything you write. you are my muse. you are brilliant.

    i am the future and forever reader of the month.


  10. PsychoPants says:

    eww. i sound like the king of comedy guy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Fine. I will share.

    Not so anonymous,


  12. Becca says:

    Psycho, I’ve never see the King of Comedy but you are trying just a bit too hard.

  13. Jane says:

    You know, the only comments I remember Psycho ever leaving on my blog involved vomit.

    I’m in love with her, she’s in love with you, it’s like really not fair.

  14. Becca says:

    Start a Reader of the Month feature and she’ll be in bed with you in no time.

    Although, I really should have trademarked that before Culotte stole it. I guess you snooze you lose.

  15. Jane says:

    Maybe I’ll do a Reader of the Year. You know, I’ve been around long enough to do that sort of thing. 😉

  16. Becca says:

    I’ll try not to steal that. But look out for that Culotte.

  17. Beaner says:

    There’s a Reader of the Month?

Comments are closed.