Friday, February 13, 2009

*Everyday Chatter

The opposition has been very quiet here since the crash. But we just got a juicy comment. Anyone want to answer Anon's challenge (click here)? "Call me crazy but I prefer DR [Duane Reade] to a Mom and Pop--they are cheaper, cleaner, they have more variety and there's always one open. I just think some people here need to get over themselves and grow up a little, you're not a 19 yr old 'atriste' [sic] anymore."

More News from the Yunnipocalypse:

Thanks to the commenter who recalled that Day-O used to be La Marionetta. A search turned up this lovely photo from 1987. Let's hope whoever takes over leaves that antique chrome:

from westvillagebob's flickr

Philip Seymour Hoffman films on Orchard. [BB]

The vanishing cityscape immortalized forever on a cool tattoo. [EVG]

The P&G tries to hang on to some of its old neon sign. [CR]

Are you an anti-Valentite? Spend Valentine's Day enjoying the Post-Apocalypse film festival at Freebird Books.

Gowanus area Jewish Press Building for sale [TRD] ...another picturesque structure to vanish from this enchanting industrial area:

my flickr


Anonymous said...

I haven't come across any mention of this about the Jewish Press building, but it's a fascinating story nonetheless...Apparently, it used to belong to the Transit Authority, and was given to the Jewish Press on the condition that they fired one of their more militant editors...

Anonymous said...

Here's why I started shopping at the new DR in Greenpoint: it is unionized.

I know that these employees have a wage scale, get regular breaks, and probably have access to an employer-funded healthcare plan.

Given the choice, I will ALWAYS shop union.

Anonymous said...

Here's my response to Mr. Anon: Yes, Duane Reades may be more sanitized than the mom and pops, but you can't forget about something called CHARACTER. It's responsible for making neighborhoods neighborhoods. A Duane Reade does not add character to a neighborhood. A classic pharmacy or shoe repair shop does.

Anonymous said...

DAN... To pick up with what you have written, not criticize you...

I agree with you regarding "Character" as a component missing from the large chains vs Independent businesses. I also think the issue should not simply be the existance of the sterile Duane Reade chain (ironically, homegrown in NYC, just like Barnes & Noble) but the rampant PROLIFERATION of sterile Duane Reade stores and other similar sterile retail chains. I seriously don't mind their existance, as long as there are other opions. What we have is OVERSATURATION and IMBALANCE. And that's just one part of the problem. However, the biggest problem is that we already know the problems, but we don't discuss CORRECTIVE SOLUTIONS to the imbalance. It's time to move the discussions in that direction.

Independent retailers need to be educated on how to become more competitive. Because of volume purchasing power, they will likely lose to the large chains regarding competitive price points. But they can compete by providing better service. They can compete by educating their staff to be more knowledgeable about products. Perhaps the city should invest in Public Service Announcements about small business the same way there are PSA's regarding recycling, regarding education, regarding public ettiquette. There should be an ad campaign/flyers/website with very simple, basic information about marketing. About how to compete. About customer service.

Customer service is the biggest gripe you tend to hear regarding chains and big box retailers (like Home Depot for example). Ultimately, the particular "EXPERIENCE of SHOPPING" is what will determine whether the consumer goes to store X or store Y.

Again, I propose to the people who read this blog, who love the fleeting idea of what this city once represented to initiate discussing solutions!



Jeremiah Moss said...

anon 9:37, thanks for making an excellent point: it's the PROLIFERATION that's the problem.

while it may seem the opposite, because i bang a steady drum, i'm not truly opposed to chains, or condos, or ipods, or any of those things. it's the sheer, overwhelming volume of them, and how the culture supports them and permits them to take over--that's what is so detrimental.

moderation and balance is what it's all about.

Dwayne M. Preston said...


I thought the same thing about the Shopoholic movie..

Barbara L. Hanson said...

Mom & pops tended to be more invested in their customers and neighborhood, often living near (or above) their store, and having children in local schools. The seventeen-year-old picking his teeth behind the register at D-R doesn't care if I am satisfied or, indeed, if I ever return.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the DR comment originally and I do concur with some of the points, however, certain chain establishments become preferable when the non-chains fail to meet certain needs. I don't go to a pharmacy for customer service, I'm buying essential grooming products, I'm looking to buy them in the cleanest environment at the cheapest price. I've visited the mom and drug stores, they are dingy and dirty, the products have been on the shelf for much longer and the prices are higher.

Now, a chain restaurant is a completely different story. there are so many local restaurants that in my opinion, chains cannot compete. I've never been to Olive Garden. Why? Because local italian restaurants provide a superior meal at mostly reasonable prices AND when dining, customer service does matter more than price. So like many here I grieve when a local quality dining (I stress quality) establishment or watering hole or other valud neighborhood enterprise closes down.

S.L. said...

i agree w/everyone here. some mom pops are filthy, so i do not go there. (bowery in china town, 14st bet 3rd/2nd, know them all). most box stores are too big & its too much trouble & offensive to walk like 4 blocks thru a floresent depressing envirement, then go downstairs for a shampoo. then there are hunreds of shampoos & i dont need a warehouse, & there are always out of what you want, that space on the shelve is empty (like 14st & 6 ave). i like CVS as some of the stores are smaller. i kind of have a mental note of where the smaller chains are, & shop when passing by. & they always keep their water in the front. i do prefer smaller moms& pops & will use them first when they are clean & well stocked. theres nothing like getting in & getting out FAST!!!!