January 30, 2008

Lowen's Pharmacy

Lowen's Pharmacy, originally uploaded by Soupflowers.

Last night, I stopped off at the mini-mart by the Exxon Station on Fourth & Senator. A woman waiting at checkout asked if anyone knew what was going on at 69th and Third. The local TV stations had camera crews down there.

None of us knew why.

Today, on a plane bound for Chicago, the newspapers told me what happened. John Rossi, one of the owners of Lowen's Pharmacy, was found dead, apparently by suicide.

I'll not speak of the troubles John Rossi apparently was in, or speculation from some parties that perhaps this wasn't the suicide that it appears to be. I don't know.

I've shopped at Lowen's many times over the years. This business has long roots in the neighborhood - Kenny was telling me how he remembers their old location, and the real life Mr. Lowen, pharmacist ,who ran it, near 68th and Third, right next to Three Jolly Pigeons.

When the neighborhood's other small pharmacies --including Alpine Pharmacy and Physicians & Surgeon's , both on Fourth Avenue, quietly expired, Lowen's actually expanded. It moved to 69th Street and took over I think three stores. This gave it some degree of size, so that it actually prospered while competing against Rite Aid and the ohter mega-chains that invaded Bay Ridge and all of America.

Now a suicide. I took some comfort in knowing that it didn't happen in the store. I am advised that it happened in the office above the store, at about 7pm.

I hope that the employees are OK, and I hope that the store remains open. Lowen's Pharmacy has been a beloved part of the neighborhood for 30-40 years or more.

This has been a terrible year for 69th Street. There was a fatal shooting in an apartment, which was followed by the August tornado ( some houses remain closed ), and now this.

I hope to shop in Lowen's this weekend.



Anonymous said...

I think it started out as two stores on 69 street. I also think the third store was taken over about 7 Yrs. after they moved to 69Street.

The Bay Ridge Rover said...

That's a great historical retrospective on Lowen's, Phantom.

A lot of us, who perhaps may never have had the occasion to avail ourselves of their services, are unfortunately only now becoming familiar with their story due to this odd series of tragic events.

You've laid an important, and much needed part of the Lowen's story.

Mad Viking's wife said...

I have shopped there for over 25 yrs. What a kind man John was to the elderly, the handicapped and the disabled, as well as a total professional to all who entered Lowen's. He gave many local teenagers their first job. He also provided meaningful employment to developmentally delayed persons as a shining example of what they can do when given the oppertunity. Such a loss to everyone who knew him. My condolences to his family.

Marty said...

I was in Lowen's and spoke to John that morning. If I only knew. May God be good to him.

msdee said...

I used to live on ovington and shopped in Lowens often. This is sad. Does anyone know what will happen to the store? I hope it doesnt close down. It's so Bay Ridge

Dr. Nikos Kanakas said...


It is a very nice and good popst and I like it.

Νίκος Κανακάς said...


It is an aming post and I very impressed to it.

Θεμις Μαντζαβινος said...


It is a very nice and good post adn I like it.

νικος κανακας said...


It is a great post and I like it.

εξωσωματική γονιμοποίηση στην Ελλάδα said...


I think they are started with two storesat 69 street and I think it is a great history of this.

Ilchi Lee said...

Really nice blog. I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

my aunt works at lowens pharmachy in fact to day im working there!

-WEBKINZ are going to be in stock near December!