Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ari From Duane Reade and Some Sad News

Today, after I went to have the rubber band procedure performed on my giant hemorrhoid, I stopped into Duane Reade to decompress and spend as much money as possible on cosmetics. It's a good thing I just got my tax refund! I spent over $80 and here's what I got:

Included in today's purchases at Duane Reade was a small toy taxi for Ari. Instrumental in this purchase was a really kind Duane Reade employee. I was standing there looking at all the toy cars debating which one to get for for my kid. The nice young man who worked at Duane Reade suggested I get the taxi because little kids love brightly colored things.

We got to talking and I asked this fantastic Duane Reade employee his name.
"I'm Ari." He said.
I asked him to repeat himself so that I could verify this information, just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Indeed he said his name was Ari.

"My son's name is Ari!" I said. I asked him if he knew what his name meant and he said:
"My mom told me it's a very powerful name. It means 'lion of G-d."
I immediately showed him pictures of my Ari. Then he asked me:
"When is Ari's birthday?"
"May 6th." I replied.
"No way!" He exclaimed. "My birthday is May 17th!"
Both my son, Ari and Duane Reade Ari are Tauruses!

Ari told me a little more about himself. He is half British, his father is from New Castle, England, he is studying communications at Brooklyn College and wants to be a Sports Newscaster one day. Like a good Jewish mother I encouraged him to stay in school.

Ari helped me purchase a memory card for my cell phone (which I had been putting off) and confirmed the fact that T-Mobile was lying about the cost of SD memory cards. T-Mobile was attempting to charge me $80 for a memory card, while Ari assured me that I could get a 8gig memory card for $25, which I did, at Radio Shack.

After meeting Ari I left Duane Reade and checked my cell phone for messages. I received a disturbing email from Mint with a subject line that read: "A Sad Day" I clicked on it instantly, only to find this link:


Yes folks, Duane Reade is going to cease to exist. I must have sensed something was going down, because I felt compelled to purchase a tons of items from Duane Reade today in particular. It truly saddens me that Walgreens, a scary corporation, is buying out friendly New York-based company Duane Reade. Mint was right, it is a sad sad day.

So, I decided to grab a slice of pizza and a Boylan's Ginger Ale at Two Boots, another local New York business, to console myself about the end of the Duane Reade era.

I was so upset I asked a stranger in line how he felt about the buy out. His reaction:
"Duane Reade is from New York? I thought Right Aide was the New York Pharmacy." I wanted to cry. Clearly, this man was an unfeeling soul and probably not from New York.

The owner of Two Boots, however, understood.

"I remember when Woolworth went out of business," He said "This world is all about greed. People ask me why I don't stay open later at night, till 2am. They say I could make more money. I tell them, I don't need the money that badly. There's always tomorrow."

RIP Duane Reade, you will be missed by this New Yorker.


  1. It's always sad to hear about local businesses being bought out. It's like the evil starbucks corporation that makes all mom n' pop coffee places die a painful death. Luckily, Portlanders are obsessed with local business and we really like sticking it to the man (aka Walmart, etc).

  2. It is really sad! You go woman! Keep stickin' it to the man!! Local mom and pops are where it's at. Whooo hooo! Now I want coffee, now that you mentioned coffee places.

  3. I am so very upset. But those are great stories!
    Yay Ari from Duane Reade and yay the Two Boots owner!
    I too remember when Woolworth went out of business. My mom was really upset about it. I think it was the first time I realized that places we went to all the time could just stop existing.

  4. Thanks! Ari from Duane Reade was really cool! I miss Woolworth. I used to buy embroidery thread there for 99 cents and make friendship bracelets with it. It was on Columbus Avenue.

  5. I love your blog Sarah.I had a great time assisting you today. Yes it is sad that Duane Reade was purchased today and in time the stores should be converted to be under the Walgreens brand.Hopefully Walgreens will keep a few of the Duane Reade traditions in place like our Chase ATMs which people really appreciate.I would like to applaud Walgreens for their prosperity in this current economy.The last few years have been hard for all the drug store chains in New York City and for Walgreens to be able to buy out Duane Reade is a major accomplishment.While the face of the stores will change I would just like our shoppers to remember that as long as the employees are still in place you will still be provided with the service that you have come accustomed to over these years.So,please dont be too discouraged from walking into your neighborhood Duane Reade.Any questions that you have will can be answered by store managers.Please feel free to ask to speak to one and they will attempt to acknowledge your concerns.

  6. Ari! I am so glad that you are representing Duane Reade. The way you talk about the company, you should work in corporate!

    It was wonderful to meet you today! Ari LOVES his taxi!

    Hopefully, the merger between Walgreens between Duane Reade will be smooth and nobody will be let go as a result.

    Duane Reade will live on in hearts and in our minds!!

  7. Louisa is abroad right now and has limited internet access - but when I sent her the sad news she still got back to me within the day to say -
    "this is like the worst thing i can imagine".

    And you know she is a pretty serious/non-exageratey kind of person.
    Sad day indeed.

  8. I'm so glad Louisa understands. She's right, it is imaginably bad.

    Oh Duane Reade. I never saw this one coming. I thought with the redesigning of the stores that they were doing well!

  9. Duane Reade isn't a mom and pop shop, despite it's New York roots. It's also a large corporation, just so happens to be based in NY.

  10. It's a large corporation, based in New York City, that has a soul. The original Duane Reade was actually between "Duane" and "Reade" Streets. It means something. What does "Walgreens" mean?

    Duane Reade is a pleasant store to visit. Personally, I could spend HOURS in Duane Reade. Days even. It is comfortable, the layout makes sense, which is more than I can say about most stores in NYC. I am a Duane Reade lover and advocate.


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