According to the “I’m Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg” facebook group, a Duane Reade will be opened on Bedford, directly across from Kings Pharmacy this Saturday.
First off, I need to state that I don’t really give a shit about saving small business in this case.
I do, however, give a shit when urban planning is totally disregarded and services are doubled up. We already have several pharmacies all of which are a stone’s throw from each other, reminding me of the Lewis Black sketch where he declares “the end of the universe” when he discovers a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. Duane Reade will be open 24 hours, which will probably end up being the downfall of Kings. This “perk” still does not justify its existence. Space is at premium on Bedford and needs to be utilized effectively.
You know what we could use? A Trader Joe’s. Or a Bank of America. Or better yet, how about some green space? Williamsburg and Greenpoint have one of the lowest people to park space ratios in all of Brooklyn at .06 acres per 1,000 residents, when the city planners recommends at least 2.5 acres per 1,000 residents. It’s only getting worse with the likes of the Domino Sugar development and Duane Reades among us.
Let’s face it, we are maybe 40 baby-filled strollers and one more high-rise away from being a perfectly lovely and totally gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood (read: Park Slope). Corporate outposts don’t spring up spontaneously in neighborhoods. They did their cost-volume-profit analysis and, bingo, Williamsburg looks good. Our consumption habits are bringing them in. But when corporate businesses have to waste our time with their march on independent business, we lose out.
So, instead of the hollow-sounding and vague argument of “Saving Williamsburg,” don’t forget that corporate greed is actually wasting our space for their purposes, not ours.