The Duane Reed on the southeast corner of 57th St. & Broadway is not connected to the Duane Reed on the southwest corner of 57th St. & Broadway by underground tunnels.
When I started my new job at comedycentral.com a little over a month ago, I spent my lunch break for the first few days walking around the neighborhood. My main goal was to find some good restaraunts where I could buy a delicious lunch at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, most places up here like to charge $7 for a sandwich. I don't like to pay $7 for a sandwich, so now I go to the Subway on 7th Ave. between 55th St. & 56th St., despite the painfully inept service staff, because I can get a sandwich for $4. Putting up with the ragtag bunch of fools bumbling around trying to figure out how to make a 6" cold cut combo on italian bread is cutting my lunch costs by 43%.
Anyway, in my travels I noticed that there was a Duane Reed on the corner opposite my building. "That's convenient", I thought. Then I noticed something strange, there was also a Duane Reed on the other side of the intersection. It was as if the Duane Reed was looking into a funhouse mirror and seeing a slightly different Duane Reed staring back. At first I was confused, but I assumed that there must be some sort of connection between the two stores. Why else would someone decide to put a Duane Reed at an intersection that already had a Duane Reed? Last I checked, that sort of thing was Starbucks' territory.
My hypothesis was furthered last week when I went into Duane Reed West to buy a hairpick for my afro. I noticed there was an escalator in the corner that went to another floor below street level. "Oh, that floor must go under Broadway and connect to Duane Reed East.", I thought. Having already made my selection of a three-pack of hairpicks and Stephen King's "IT" on dvd for $4.99, I didn't bother to test my hypothesis. I felt that my assumption was the only logical answer and decided to leave it at that.
Today I found myself in front of Duane Reed East on my way to Subway to buy another $4 sandwich made by retards (editor's note: they're not really handicapped, they're just stupid). I decided to go inside and see if they had any oral syringes, the kind you use to give babies medicine. My girlfriend needed some for her halloween costume (Dr. Dakota Block from Planet Terror). The first thing I noticed while walking around the store trying to find the "baby needs" aisle was the glaring absence of an escalator leading to the underground floor that connected Duane Reed East to Duane Reed West. How could this be? How would people travel between the two Duane Reeds if it was raining? What if there was a fire at Duane Reed West and there were people trapped in the underground floor? How would they escape if someone forgot to build the escalator in Duane Reed East?
I quickly left the store and crossed the street to Duane Reed West. I walked over to the escalator and found the 'down' side unoperational. Was this an attempt to keep more people from getting trapped underground in the inevitable fire? I was disappointed that there was no sign reading "Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the Convenience." I reluctantly walked down the stairs into the underground death chamber and looked around, thinking maybe I overlooked the escalator in Duane Reed East. Perhaps there was a hidden elevator, I hadn't even taken that into account. Unfortunately, no such elevating device was to be found.
This means that there are two completely unrelated Duane Reed stores less than 50 yards from each other. At some point, a man looked at the intersection of 57th St. & Broadway with it's lonely Duane Reed and thought to himself, "that little guy looks like he could use a friend."
That man... Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln at the dedication of Duane Reed West, November 12, 1863.
This event was greatly overshadowed by the following Sunday's dedication of the cemetary at Gettysburg.