The Battle for Williamsburg is going down, and the lines have been drawn... on Facebook. As with any great cause these days, a page has been created on the social networking site, titled: I'm Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg. Sure, boycotting Duane Reade isn't going to save Williamsburg, unless you also burn down the Edge and blow up Sea on North 6th Street whilst boycotting it, but it is representative of the turmoil and change happening over there.
Over the past year, a few Duane Reades have opened, and the latest on Bedford is directly across from the slightly more expensive but independently-owned Kings Pharmacy. Two sides, facing off across the street from one another! It's exciting isn't it? And it's got the young creatives shaking in their Converse; we linked to this Williamsburg Address yesterday, which aims (albeit humorously) to rally the troops around saving Williamsburg—it concludes: "this neighborhood, under Vice, shall have a new birth of cool—and that the internet startups of the hipster, by the hipster, for the hipster, shall not perish from these condos."
So let's get some perspective here, Duane Reade was once just three stores—opened in 1960 by Abraham, Eli, and Jack Cohen—with one warehouse located between the Duane and Reade streets on Broadway in lower Manhattan. Some mom and pops succeed, just like some of the hipster internet startups will succeed, and their creators will move into the big, shiny sell-out condos that can basically be blamed for Duane Reade moving to the neighborhood. Can we get a real credo here, and determine where to draw the line and where we all want Williamsburg to be in a few years? Which kind of gentrification is okay? Are they going to sell jeggings at the Duane Reade? And what's going on with The Bagel Store?! Please advise.