Duane Reade, New York City
(work in progress)
It's hard to walk around New York City for more than 10 minutes and NOT stumble across a branch of Duane Reed, the ubiquitous drug store (pharmacy). Which is a good thing in my book, since it probably offers more to the tourist in need than virtually any other sort of store ...
Drug stores in the U.S. are not limited to pharmaceutical products, but carry a wide range of other goods that will address the vast majority of travel emergencies. Quite apart from stocking up with toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, shaving kits and sanitary protection that you may have forgotten to pack and/or decided not to bring because of weight/security restrictions, they are usually the cheapest place to buy bottled water, crisps (chips), confectionery (candy) and some preprepared food.
Need an umbrella or a rain coat because the weather's turned foul? Spare batteries for your travel appliances? Stationery, sticky tape or superglue? Get yourself down to the drug store!
I also find drug stores to be excellent places to buy affordable little gifts for friends and colleagues back home. For example, my recent trip allowed me to stock up on all manner of whimsical Halloween goodies - this being a festival at which Americans absolutely excel - and I discharged my gift obligations for less than USD20!
And, as though all that wasn't enough, drug stores are also open extremely long hours. The ultimate one stop convenience store!
Aweful. To be avoided. Duane Reade cannot even be contacted by phone.
When calling their number, you are referred to another number and when pressing to speak to customer service there, the call is just disconnected.
What to buy: Rubbish
What to pay: x
It's available at every corner in the city with good prices on flavored drinks and water, medicines and snacks. It's the ideal convenience store!
What to buy: Dasani water for a dollar, Vitamin water for $1.29, $.99 snack packs, a huge variety of Tylenol and other over the counter meds!
What to pay: Very very reasonable, even cheap!
New York City's local pharmacy. This store is virtually everywhere. It is a rare occurance where you can go 5 blocks in the city without passing one. They have everything you would need to those painful moments of travel.
And best of all to all you travelers out there. They are also the source of good quality cheap prints of your digital pics. They recently ran a special where we got our prints for 9 cents each. In one hour!
Another of my favorite stores is the Duane Reade store and you can find these everywhere in the city.
They have a great beauty and cosmetic isle. Specializing in anything you will need from a drug store you will definitely find your usual pain killers, cold remedies, health maintenance like vitamins. You will also find household goods (cleaning items, etc.). They have a photo center, old and discounted movies, beauty appliances, calling cards, cigarettes, cadies and so much more.
Sign up for the Duane Reade Dollar Reward card and get the advertised sale items. You will also be rewarded with a $5 coupon after spending $100.
What to buy: Everything from health and beauty supplies to household goods.