Too often we hear of independent businesses vanishing from the city, and local pharmacies were some of the first to go.
From 1990 - 2003, New York City lost 447 neighborhood pharmacies, a 28% decrease. In the same time period, the city gained 434 chain pharmacies—a 263% increase. And the casualties keep mounting. In the East Village, we watched them all fall (almost--except for the lovely Block Drugs and ?) under the pressing weight of Duane Reades and Rite-Aids and Walgreens.
But what is this?
Little indie Abacus Pharmacy opened a few months ago on 2nd Avenue and 11th Street. If you haven't been yet, check it out. The people who own it and work there are friendly and helpful. It feels good to shop there. But the place is often empty--I don't think many people know it exists yet (only 10 Facebook friends). So now you know.
Every time we pass a shuttered pharmacy, the windows are full of signs from Duane Reade or Rite-Aid that say, in essence, "Our massive, impersonal chain is now taking your prescription transfers!" Well, fuck 'em. If you live in the East Village and fill your prescriptions at a chain, why not transfer them to Abacus? Support the little guy--and enjoy the pleasures of a retail relationship where the people behind the counter remember your face and want to take care of you for once.