>When I moved to New York City from the 'burbs of Chicago 15 years ago, one of the biggest adjustments I had to make was the lack of Walgreen's. NYC had plenty of pharmacies/drug store chains to choose from - Duane Reade (as ubiquitous in NYC as Walgreen's is in Chicago), CVS, Rite Aid, the one that was on 8th Street between Broadway and University whose name I am blanking on but that no longer exists, etc. - but I thought Walgreen's had a better variety of random products than any of them. Whenever I went out to Long Island, I rejoiced in the Walgreen's near the train station that served Husband's parents' town.

Over time, however, I adjusted. Duane Reade, still annoying in general, spruced itself up a bit as it expanded its presence. (At one point, it seemed like the only commercial space left in the City would be bank branches, Starbuckses, and Duane Reades.) I adapted to its overpriced merchandise, surly cashiers, and long lines. They introduced a card in which you got points for every dollar you spent, and they rounded up, which made me feel a bit better about paying $2 for a Diet Coke that the corner bodega might sell for between $1.25 (if I'm lucky) and $1.75. Once you get a $100, you get $5 off your next purchase. I love bribes.

So, when I got Husband's email this morning that informed me that Walgreen's acquired Duane Reade, I was shocked. Even more shocked than by the fact that the New York Times finally posted what was rumored to be such a scandalous story about Gov. Patterson that he'd immediately be forced to resign and it turned out to be boring. I mean, Walgreen's taking over Duane Reade? This is craziness! I can't decide if I am excited or horrified.

For now, Walgreen's is keeping the Duane Reade name, but it will be really weird if they replace it and there's no more Duane Reade in NYC. I wonder if this is revenge for Macy's buying Marshall Field's and then changing the name, an affront to the civic pride and identities of Chicagoans everywhere. Huh. Maybe I've uncovered a diabolical plot. Now that Duane Reade is threatened, I feel very defensive of it, even though I fucking hate that store (other than the bribes). Interesting.

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