South Boston is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. We’ve got it all; million dollar homes, beautiful beaches, some of the best restaurants around, and amazing people. So why can’t we have a decent drugstore and supermarket?
Let me break down the situation – yes, it’s a situation – into two parts – broken down into a series of complaints.
Part 1 – Stop & Shop
The parking lot – Would it kill Stop & Shop to pave the parking lot. There are more pot holes and craters in this lot than the surface of the moon (shoutout to the 50th Anniversary of the US landing on the moon). When my wife wears her clogs, she risks twisting an ankle with every step. Sensible shoes should not be mandatory to walk to in a supermarket parking lot. When it rains, the whole middle section of the lot literally fills up to lake-size proportions. And do they need to make deliveries at every hour of the day blocking the traffic flow with trucks?
Photo of Lake Stop & Shop via Eileen Murphy
Meat Scrap Dumpster – You know, the little dumpster next to the regular dumpster, surrounded by nasty grease on the ground. The grease is so nasty and disgusting you can smell it. There has to be a better way.
Trash – Cigarette butts out front. Trash around the trees on East Fourth Street and along the perimeter of the parking lot. Take pride in your property and our neighborhood. Clean it up.
Snow – In the winter, Stop & Shop hires a snow plow to push all the snow from the parking lot onto the sidewalk on East Fourth Street. This should never be allowed. They should be fined daily until they remove the snow. Talk about being a jerk neighbor.
The Produce – The produce section at the beginning of the store sets the tone for your shopping experience – disappointing. I can’t count how many times I’ve been burned by the produce at the Southie Stop & Shop. Sad onions. Bruised apples. Wilted and pathetic lettuce. All just very disappointing.
Tiny Aisles with Foolish Displays in the Way – I realize it’s a small Stop & Shop, but do they need to put the cardboard displays in the middle of the aisle? It’s hard enough navigating the teeny aisles with senior citizens meandering slowly in the middle, not getting out of the way. Or millennials with air pods in having full on conversations out loud, oblivious to the fact, I’m trying to pass on the left. Also, do they need to restock the shelves every hour of the day adding to the congestion?
Dirty and Dingy – This Stop & Shop needs some love. It needs a paint job and some reconfiguration. It’s the saddest Stop & Shop of all time. It has to be.
Part II – Walgreens
Scarcity – Why does this new Walgreens look like the supermarket in the Handmaid’s Tale. The shelves are bare in some sections. Or maybe just two or three of an item in another section. Did I miss the coup by some fundamentalist regime? Are we now living in a totalitarian society where the government is rationing items like my wife’s favorite brand of tampons? Also, I can’t mention “scarcity” without bringing the Great Mother’s Day Card Situation. Walgreens ran out of cards for Mother’s Day. We love our mothers in Southie! This Mother’s Day the card aisle of Walgreens was filled with last minute sons and daughters in a panic. Come on!
Parking Lot/Junk Yard – Rat carcasses, trash in the overgrown weeds, a rusty old trash compactor, pot holes (see Part 1 complaint item “parking lot”) overflowing trash cans. All these things have been reported in the last week.
Short Staffed – There is never not a line.
Pharmacy Nightmare – Again, this pharmacy is short-staffed. There is constantly a line and they never, ever have your prescription ready when they say they will. When you call, no one answers. When you ask for a call back, no one does. If you have a private matter to discuss about your prescription, the 22 people in line behind you are gonna hear all about your rash. The line waiting for the pharmacy is never not filled with hate, regret and sometimes rage. (Side story: While I was in the line of rage, a gentleman with a walker behind me was ranting and raving about how much this Walgreens stinks. He called numerous times about his prescription and was waiting for a call back. When the call never came, this guy hopped on the Ride and hauled his ass in to talk with the pharmacist. While waiting in the line, the pharmacy then called back. He began yelling, “Now! Now you assholes are calling!”) Everyone in line shook their heads in solidarity. Yes, indeed, this place stinks.
Spruce It Up – The interior and exterior both need some new paint.
I realize I can shop other places and I often do. But the fact of the matter this is great neighborhood and we deserve better. I’m not the only one who’s pissed about this situation either. Just go on social media and you’ll find others commiserating. Southie resident Tom Tinlin has been leading the public shaming on twitter.
We reached out to Tom for a statement:
“For far too long the conditions of the Walgreens and Stop & Shop parking lots have deteriorated to a point of being unsafe. Massive potholes, faded arrows and parking lines, as well as standing water after a rainfall, and of course the rusting old compacter and uncovered dumpster that sit in the Walgreens lot. Many of our neighbors especially, the elderly walk through these lots to get into these stores. Many have no means to go to a different store to get groceries or medications. We also continue to deal with issues of food and milk that is outdated at Stop & Shop and a lack of respect for privacy at the Walgreens pharmacy. This is exacerbated by some (not all) staff who appear to be disinterested. Seems hard to believe that this would be tolerated in other areas.”
Stop & Shop and Walgreens are multi-million dollar companies. Get your stores in order. South Boston deserves better.