Things are finally starting to brighten up for Battery Park Pharmacy.
As Americans reflect on the third anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, that changed the country forever, things are finally starting to brighten up for Battery Park Pharmacy.
The 22-year-old business on South End Avenue, just one block from the World Trade Center site, was the first shop built in this financial area. These days, Battery Park Pharmacy is catering to some new families and businesses as well as others that are returning to the area.
"Things are definitely a lot better than they were," said Manny Norona, R.Ph., supervising pharmacist. "The area is not back to normal, but most of the residential buildings have reopened and are full. We also have new customers, and business has improved. Some of the office buildings have opened. Some of the large firms haven't reopened, but that will probably happen soon."
Although it received help from the police and fire departments on Sept. 11, Battery Park Pharmacy was destroyed. It took four months to rebuild and restock the store. However, because of the destruction of many office and residential buildings and the fact that many families and businesses moved out of the area, the pharmacy's business was very slow during the year after the tragedy. Today the pharmacy employs several new clerks and two part-time R.Ph.s to handle a much greater workload.
Reflecting on the three-year anniversary, Norona said, "You try not to dwell on what happened, but it's always on your mind. You change a lot. You realize how we depend on one another in this neighborhood and on our families to keep us feeling alive. This definitely affected all of the people here. You never really healbut you must try to forget it and go on and help other people."
At press time, Norona wondered about how the Republican National Convention would affect his business. "A lot of people probably will come down here to look at the area and take pictures. People who live here are still suffering, and they're trying to go on with their lives."
Norona has been making it his business to help patients adjust to the crisis. He mentioned that the pharmacy offered flu shots prior to the tragedy, but discontinued them because many physicians in the area moved out and did not refer patients. The pharmacy may offer flu shots this season if there is a demand for them. He also expects this Christmas to be brighter. He usually stocks a lot of toys and gifts and displays lights in the store. "We'll make the store pretty so people who come in find that it's a little cheery," he said optimistically.
But Norona confided that he plans to spend Sept. 11 at home with his family reflecting on the tragedy. He believes that the support he receives from his family is what enables him to continue to provide his patients with much needed care.
Sandra Levy. Battery Park Pharmacy seeing brighter days.
Sep. 13, 2004;148:49.