By Trudy Whitman
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
They said it couldn’t be done, but it has been done. If you live in the Hills and Gardens, you are part of a community that has bucked a trend, much to the benefit of the entire neighborhood. Court Street has supported the existence and growth of independent book stores and pharmacies, the continuation of which has been seriously threatened by the Internet and big box stores.
The most recent proof positive of the devotion to our mom and pop stores is the move by Wyckoff’s Corner Pharmacy from the south side of Wyckoff to the north side, doubling the Court Street shop’s square footage. This has allowed for a second register at this neighborhood favorite, speeding up prescription procurement, as well as increasing shelf space for other healthcare and beauty products.
Bassam “Sam” Amin opened Wykcoff’s in 2006. Last year John Capotorto, a pharmacist who had built a loyal customer base at his own local pharmacy, joined Amin. Their dedication to their customers is touted on local list-servs and on yelp.com, where one fan wrote, “This is the kind of place you come back to even if you were to move out of the area.”
On a visit to the new space, Amin indicated the large waiting area where he plans to offer lessons in disease management for common conditions such as diabetes, COPD, and asthma. Come on in and get your flu shot early, he advises; the immunization is available at the pharmacy now.
Wyckoff’s Corner Pharmacy, 203 Court St., is open seven days a week; (718) 923-1122. Free delivery is available.
Another miracle on Court Street is the beloved, BookCourt, 163 Court St., which experienced several growth spurts of its own over the years. BookCourt has become a local haunt for Martin Amis, the renowned English novelist and essayist who recently purchased a home on Strong Place in Cobble Hill.
From accounts written by journalists from both sides of the pond, we’ve learned that Amis is enchanted with his new environs. And the delight is mutual. Peter Stevenson wrote in The New York Times that Amis’s stride over the Atlantic into Brooklyn “was the most stunning infusion of macho literary firepower to the borough since Norman Mailer.”
Amis and BookCourt have formed a partnership over the publication of his latest novel, “Lionel Asbo: State of England.” The shop hosted him in the final reading of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Books Beneath the Bridge, a series curated by local independent book stores, and will also host Lionel’s launch party at the store, 163 Court St., on Sept. 10.