Bob Holman mentioned yesterday that "NO 7-Eleven" is not a NIMBY issue, unless our backyard is the entire city.
I've been thinking about how NO 7-Eleven is distinct from gentrifying or gentrified neighborhood groups. It's not just that it's a city-wide effort, not just that it's calling for community say in land use for all communities. I think it goes way deeper. Chain stores are an invasion from an inaccessible source. I think that's why I'm puzzled by critics who welcome chains on the ground that it's an expression of the free market. There's nothing "free" about corporate control from afar. 7-Eleven, Walmart, Walgreens, McDonalds -- the whole lot of them -- are the Persians at the Athenian walls, the body snatchers and Big Brother all in one.
We're New Yorkers -- an immigrant, diverse, crazyquilt of communities. We're not the corporate overlords from remote locations and they're not us.
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