My CVS is closing. The store at 1026 Madison Avenue, an anchor of that part of the Pine Hills neighborhood, will soon be defunct. My wife learned this from an employee who told her it would be shuttered on September 26 because of a dangerous structural problem in the basement. It will not reopen. I am bummed.
One of the reasons we moved into the neighborhood is because of its proximity to so many things. My library branch (Pine Hills). My bank. Restaurants, some of which have come and gone.
On the stretch between Main and West Lawrence, my Price Chopper/Market 32 grocery store anchored one end of the block. The Madison Theatre has come, gone, and returned a few times. The next address has been a bookstore and a few coffee shops. My CVS anchored the other end.
In the Times Union story, which came out after I tipped off editor Casey Seiler: “Amy Thibault, a CVS spokeswoman, confirmed the closure date and offered a variety of reasons that led to the decision to shutter the store, including population shifts and a community’s store density…
“The city’s codes department cited the owner late last week for having an unsafe basement due to issues with support columns in the building. The citation, which requires the owner to prepare an engineering report within 10 days, does not affect CVS’ ability to operate its store.” I have my doubts.
To be sure, there are other CVS locations within a mile or two: 885 Central Avenue (0.9 mi), 613 New Scotland Avenue (1 mi), 1170 Western Avenue (1.8 mi), and 16 New Scotland Ave (1.4 mi). Our prescriptions will likely move to one of those. And they are all on a bus route not far from my house.
But it was SO convenient to walk the 0.3 mi to my CVS to purchase my Rx, buy some fruit at the PChop, get some cash from my bank, put $20 on my CDTA bus Navigator card at my library, and maybe pick up some restaurant takeout. “The company has several other pharmacies in the city, but the Madison Avenue location was the sole pharmacy located within the Pine Hills neighborhood boundaries.”
My wife said she was stunned by the news. Sigh. We will deal with it.
Lark Street revitalization
Some local good news. Workers are removing the cobblestones at three intersections of Lark Street, a street near my church, at Hudson, Lancaster, and State.
They were “originally installed two decades ago. Residents long complained that the gaps between the cobblestones were excessive; bike tires (and high heels) got stuck in them. And they’d never been re-grouted since installation. Mayor Kathy Sheehan says one of the first complaints she fielded when she was elected was about the cobblestones.”
I despised them from the very beginning. The cobblestones were also slippery when wet.