I was walking along first avenue this evening when something caught my eye. A well-lit, silvery structure. I looked at the logo and saw "DR", sleek and shiny in an elegant, modern font. Of course, being heavily susceptible to branding, I thought "Duane Reade." Of course, being a tried and true New Yorker, I immediately vanished this thought.
Duane Reade isn't classy! It's kitschy. It's crappy. Some are ten floors tall and some are one long railroad. The lights are burn-your-corneas bright. The staff are completely unhelpful. The aisles are winding, cramped, and often under immense duress.
So what was it? What was this building stealing Duane Reade's famous initials?
Turns out it was actually a Duane Reade. But not like any I've ever seen before. I only watched from across the street, peering into the wide glass windows. No overly graphic signs with gratuitous exclamation points! (!!!) Dim lighting! Fancy new fonts!
I came home and visited the Duane Reade web site to see that they still have their old, hideous logo. So what was the deal? I found the answer in some creative Googling: turns out I'm not the only one shocked by this unannounced, new Duane Reade.
So what's the deal? What's Duane Reade doing? Is this a pilot program? Are they dolling themselves up for the shitty economy? Is this a joke? Is this to make other New Yorkers with crappier Duane Reades jealous?
I have no idea.
But tomorrow I will ENTER that Duane Reade. I will take pictures. I will post them here. For those of you who have set foot in a Duane Reade, prepare to have your balls blown off of your body.