In my neighborhood, pharmacy-wise, there a CVS on Court Street, a Rite Aid down by Atlantic, and a couple more Rite Aids on Smith Street. And then there's the Clinton Apothecary, a lonely mercantile outpost at the corner of Clinton Street and President Street. It's one of the last independent pharmacies in the neighborhood. Renaissance and Court Pharmacy, both on Court Street, were driven out of business in the last few years.
I love the Clinton Apothecary. And not just because its an indy, family-owned business. I love it because it's run by neighborhood people who obviously know all the other people in the neighborhood. I love it because the staff are as friendly as they need to be, and no more. They're not rude; they're just doing their job. And they treat little old ladies waiting for prescriptions very well.
I love it because they go to the bother of putting together holiday-themed window displays for every single major holiday. They are not flashy. They look like something a third-grade class would do under the instruction of their teacher. But they're all the more endearing for that. And they're always the first out of the gate. The Halloween display is up by late September; the Thanksgiving display on Nov. 1; the Christmas display the day after Thanksgiving.
I love them because they are tiny, but have a little bit of everything. Not just medicines and toiletries, but school supplies, toys, gift items, party favors, and a small but helpful food section. Even, lately, Halloween costumes.
I also love the Clinton Apothecary because it in mind-bogglingly cheap. I don't know how have stayed in business with the prices they charge. In Carroll Gardens, now a very affluent community, they could charge as much as they want. But they don't. Large bags of chips are $1. Two-liter sodas are not much more. Toilet paper for under a dollar. Often glassware and other kitchen items are on displays for a buck or two a piece. I've restored my home's supply of water glasses courtesy of the Clinton Apothecary many times, usually for under $10. And, as I understand it, they charge less for a co-pay than the big boys do.
Oftentimes, when I'm walking home with a thirst and a hungry boy in tow, and only five bucks in my pocket to work with, I've stopped in this drug store and have managed to get drinks and snacks to satisfy us both, with change to spare.