Onward & UPward: Meeting Manny Ramirez


“From an early age Manny understood the importance of the words ‘we’ and ‘us’ and that our neighborhood is strengthened by everyone’s participation. He developed Dichter Pharmacy into an Inwood institution with exhibitions, performances and soda shop with free meeting space. His unbridled support of Inwood and its arts and culture make Manny a most deserving recipient of the UPstanding Person of the Year award.”

— Martin Collins (Community Leader, and UPstanding Person of the Year ’16)


Without a space to call their own, Rabbi Herschel Hartz and the congregation of Inwood Jews found a home at Dichter to observe the Sabbath. — “I am committed to growing the Jewish community. When I was growing up, everyone was mixing with everyone.”

“Low-key yet indispensable, Manny is the poster-boy for what Inwood is about – small-town Americana at the tip of Manhattan. His basement space is booked daily with community groups of every type, his walls are adorned with paintings and photos by Uptown Artists, and his lunch counter is our village cafe where we share news, opinions, and poems. And his grilled cheese is a New York classic.”

— James Bosley (Artistic Director, UP Theater Company)



Manny came back strong from the 2012 fire, rebuilding an expanded store on the same block, and never forgot the community that supported him. — “The fire was a terrible thing that ended up being a really good thing. I not only owe the bank but I owe the neighborhood because when I needed them they showed up.”

“Manny is one of the most energetic and creative business owners supporting arts and culture in Inwood. His contributions of time, space, and resources come not only from a place of wanting to do good – he is sincerely passionate about art in its many forms, and wants to share that passion with the community.”

— James Waldo (Founder, Listen Closely Inwood Chamber Music Initiative)



Manny hosting a candle-light vigil for residents in support of victims of the Orlando massacre. — “I felt compelled, as a business owner in Inwood, that I had to do something. We’re about healing and love.”

Local groups benefiting from free Dichter community space:

Preschool on the Planet — 34th Precinct Community Group — Listen Closely chamber concerts — Spanish, French & Arabic language classes — Inwood Jews — Mother Goose Story-time — The Girl Scouts — Lactation Consultant — Many book-readings & exhibits of local artists — UP Theater Company



Manny speaking to Manhattan Bridges High School students engaging in the study of work and professional choices in the real world. — “I get to know you, know your family situation and that’s just the first facet of what we do as a business. To say we’re part of the community and that’s important to me.”