Earlier this week, this came to me:
If you step back for a second, and don’t think about 7‑Eleven in itself (the garish façade, Slurpees), and think instead about the goals of No 7‑Eleven NYC — defining an area wherein businesses only of a certain type are permitted to exist — you will quickly see that the types of businesses that will thrive, given the fact that rents will continue to rise, will be expensive boutiques/restaurants/etc. No 7‑Eleven NYC has as its inevitable end the “gating” of the East Village. It’s a revanche effort, after years of gentrification have made the neighborhood appealing to larger corporations. They seek to preserve this area for a wealthy elite, there’s no question about this. They ride on the backs of bodega owners, but they will quickly discard them when the opportunity arises.
Believe me, I do not relish appearing to defend 7‑Eleven, or chain stores in general, but the way things are going there are only two outcomes: a neighborhood filled with chain stores (it’s half-way there already); or a neighborhood filled with quaint boutiques that only the wealthy can afford. No 7‑Eleven NYC does not seek to stop, let alone reverse, “whitewashing the community”. It aims to carefully direct it.
Welcome to the East Village Gated Community.