Dollar General, East Durham: Love It or Leave It?
When it comes to East Durham's Dollar General, are you spreading the love or spewing the hate? Even within my own family, there was a lot of local controversy during the construction of the chain store. As it turned out, both the lovers and haters of the dollar store enterprise were a little surprised by what we found there.
Archer and Ramona, who'd never set foot in a Dollar General before, were both unequivocally pleased by the joint. He got a little car and a dinosaur excavation kit that kept him busy for hours. She picked up some Frozen stickers and light-up red rose, which was meant to be a present for me but ended up becoming a major element in her princess movie reenactments. We've taken Beauty & the Beast to the next level. She also picked up an oversized, off-brand My Little Pony, which she named Red Velvet and plays with on the daily.
My mom, a Long Island-based shopper who couldn't wait to get in the door, declared that it's "not a true dollar store." That is, things cost more than a dollar here. If you're looking for buckets of cheap plastic, you've come to the wrong place! Mom texted me the photo at right to express her surprise at the wide selection of lighters. "I haven't seen an ash tray for sale anywhere for years!" she exclaimed. I supposed I haven't, either, though maybe I'm shopping in the wrong aisle.
I support the neighbors who'd rather see a rolling field or a local business like Hort & Pott or IU Tripp in place of this chain store, but I was pleasantly surprised to find reams of paper on the tidy, well-stocked shelves and packets of Allegra, my allergy medicine of choice, behind the counter. Honestly, I was expecting a junk shop but found it to be more like a really well-stocked CVS or RiteAid, minus the on-site pharmacy. For those of us lodged deep in Durham, these convenience supplies used to require a much longer drive.
When I was a kid, my grandmother would always take us shopping at Ames in Greenville. The Dollar General might not hold a candle to that beloved department store of yore, but I foresee my own kids looking forward to shopping here with their with their grandma for years to come.
Dollar General is located at 3647 NY-145, East Durham, NY; (518) 239-6497. Open daily 8am-6pm.