The Restaurants and Stores Trying to Maintain New York Traditions –

By Reggie Nadelson

The staff at Thompson Chemists in SoHo, from left: Gary Alony, Jolie Alony, Jonathan Alony and Wael Hamed, and in front, Rego the dog. Photographed on April 2, 2020.

…. Yesterday, my phone rang and it was Jolie Alony from Thompson Chemists, SoHo’s corner drugstore and a local gathering place where every other Tuesday night there is a band that plays bluegrass; not this week, though. “We’re just checking that all our regulars have enough supplies of their meds,” she says. Jolie and her husband, Gary Alony, who is the pharmacist, own the store; their three kids, Daniela, Jonathan and Maya, are there every day now, along with the new intern, Wael Hamed, all of them answering phones, ordering messengers and restocking shelves. “We’re fine,” says Jolie, and in the background I can hear one of Gary’s favorite records blasting: Funkadelic’s 1970 “Free Your Mind … and Your Ass Will Follow.” ​Even clients who have decamped to Woodstock and the Hamptons are calling in orders. “It’s hard for them to get out,” says Joliewithout a hint of irony. “Most urgent requests are for Q-Tips, nail brushes, shampoo and toilet paper.”…

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