The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pharmacy Hari-Kari Spree Persists Unabated

After half a dozen drug stores have come and gone, it would appear that word has not reached the small business world that taking on Duane Reade is an Rx for heartache. When I first moved to North Flatbush Un-Manored Lefferts Gardens 7 years ago, there was an awesome pharmacy just across from the disastrous "205 Parkside." The two co-owners were the pharmacists themselves - Chinese-Americans with a real knack for customer service. They filled prescriptions like hot-dog vendors prepare "one with everything." Having experienced one too many dastardly long waits at the DR a couple doors down, I became a convert, and I considered handing out flyers to the poor saps in line at the Reade, imploring my brothers and sisters to thumb their noses at the shameless corporate bloodhounds and give their considerable business to the little guys. Predictably, the "Parkside" pharmacy died, and my calls to refill a prescription were met with this ominous message: "your prescription can now be filled at the Duane Reade on Flatbush Avenue." Not only did the beast slay the prey, it swallowed it whole. The chilling conclusion: those same guys that owned my favorite pharmacy were WORKING at the Duane Reade. They were still nice. But you could see that behind their eyes the lights had faded.

Since then, I've seen a half-dozen drug stores close. But like so many "Flatbush Got Talent" contestants, the pharmacies keep coming with visions of Hippocratic Susan Boyle in their heads. Mere weeks after the closing of a pharmacy on Flatbush between Parkside and Winthrop, up pops another at the malodorous outdoor Parkside Mall, not but two doors down from the above-mentioned store of yore.

I just hope someone isn't pouring his life savings into this one.

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