Best ravaged outpost of a retail chain to make you pine for the suburbs (three-way tie) - 2006
Soho Old Navy
When it comes to the suburbs, there's little to love: your weak hometown mall, the high school that sucked, nights spent hanging out at "the cool" Chili's. But all it takes is one trip to the Soho Old Navy, the Astor Place Kmart, or the Flatbush Target to realize how much you undersold your home 'burb in all its stocked-shelf glory. A suburban Kmart is the land of plenty compared to its Astor Place counterpart, regularly gutted by the NYU kiddie contingent buying up all the good Martha sheets. Good luck finding a matching bikini top and bottom in the swimsuit section of the Soho Old Navy, plumbed by bloodthirsty bargain huntresses on their lunch break (the ladies know it's Old Navy, not Scoop, that is Soho's real golden goose.) That brings us to the Flatbush Target. Sure, it gets extra points for its proximity to Chuck E. Cheese and those glorious Skee-Ball games, but we're still looking at a shadow of the store's suburban self. A few X-small tank tops are all that's left of the exalted Luella Bartley line; the advertised DeLonghi coffeemaker is nowhere to be found; and photo boxes? Will they ever restock those photo boxes?