Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meeting recap: 'Pringle-lizing' the East Village, 7-Eleven style

[Photo of Bob Holman by Jose Garcia]

As previously noted, members of the 11th Street A-B-C Block Association met last night at Father's Heart Ministries to discuss the incoming 7-Eleven on East 11th Street and Avenue A..

A tipster passed along a quick recap of the No 7-11 meeting...

The meeting was the usual mix of brainstorming, with some good ideas and some silliness, but it all came from the heart. There were some ideas put forth that a lot of us had not even thought of — for instance, how to keep schoolkids from patronizing a shiny, magical 7-11 instead of a Slurpee machine-free bodega?

There was talk about banding together with other block associations to fight this and other chains...

The problem, and believe me I don't mean to sound cynical, is that a lot of this is sound and fury ... I have been on many committees and in many groups, and have repeatedly found that while you might have any number of interested people, only a few of them will actually step up to the plate and take on the struggle, with the rest encouraging from the sidelines. That's a hard way to win a war, and sometimes it doesn't work.

Jeremiah Moss always has a summation here.

And here are a few quotes from Serena Solomon's article at DNAinfo this afternoon:

"People come to New York because it is not the suburbs," said Rob Hollander, the meeting's organizer, who also heads up the 11th Street A-B-C Block Association. "7-Eleven is not here to contribute to the culture of New York, and someone has to stand up for that culture."


Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, was also on hand at the meeting to blast the store.

"They are boring. They are bland. They are not New York," said Holman, who wore thick links of industrial-size chain around his neck to symbolize the fight. "They are Pringle-izing our population."

A writer from Gothamist was also at the meeting. Read that post here.


bllue glass said...

the closer you live to the problem the more involved you get.
it's hard to get folks activated these days.
50 people is a very good turn out.

vzabuser said...

the Baked Goods in 7-11 are made locally :
Founded in 1980, Glenn Wayne Wholesale Bakery in Bohemia NY offers a rage of food items. The company provides a variety of muffins, donuts and fancies. It offers chocolate chips, banana nuts, blueberry crumbs and fruit sticks. The company also provides chocolate cigars, apple crumbs, walnut chips and cinnamon swirls.

Anonymous said...

it would be great if people would chain themselves to TSP during the HOWL Festival in protest of landlords and developers!

Anonymous said...

If everyone hates 7-11 so much, make a locally owned bodega that actually competes with it! Whether you like it or not, 7-11 is often the best choices by far in terms of selection and price. All these "anti-chain" protests only serve to artificially prop up out of date and sub-par establishments. The reality of the world is and always has been, compete or close.

Innovate .. find a way to produce a better product than the chain stores and you'll see the customers come. People go where they can get the best experience.

Anonymous said...

7-11, Subway, Papa John's etc are coming here because of the new demographic that lives here now. So if you want to protest or stop something go after the landlords that are cleansing the neighborhood of long-time working class residents and converting their apartments into dormitory housing for frat boys and sorority girls. I saw two frat boys who live in my building coming back home with a box of Papa John's and sack of McDonald's the other day - instead of going to one of the "local" burger joints or pizza shops. So you want to stop the chains fight to save affordable housing, because if the people who live here don't shop there it will close, but if the people who live here love this crap - they will keep on coming.

James said...

To anonymous who thinks this is about a "new demographic" moving into the area...are you really so stupid that you believe that working class people don't like to shop at 7-11, a store which provides quick, cheap food at affordable prices? The real issue here is that the East Village snobs in question don't like seeing a store in their neighborhood that reminds them of real working class neighborhoods. They think it's too "ghetto."

Also, you have absolutely no power over the rent charged by property owners. They are entitled to maximize the return on their property, and rent controlled tenants are not only unprofitable but we even have situations in which landlords make a loss on their property. Do you think that is acceptable? Do you think property owners should be forced to subsidize the living costs of other people?

And why shouldn't people shop at 7-11, if that's their choice? If they want to buy Papa John's and McDonalds then that is NO business of yours. Just keep your nose out! I really think that some of you are forgetting that this is AMERICA and that people are free to make their own choices about what to buy etc.

Anonymous said...

James - you missed the point completely because you want to spew the usual venom at rent regulated tenants, isntead of taking time to read what i wrote. I am not actually against 7-1 at all or the other chains or franchises that offer cheap and in some cases decent food options to people. A good friend told me she loves Dunkin Donuts coffee because it is good, cheap, hot and she doesn't have $3 to spend on an organic mocha latte every morning. I couldn't agree with her more. I agree this is America and if you paid attention to the point I was making - it was all about competition and not about telling people where they can shop. I said if the people who live here want this stuff then that's what we get. As far as your landlord comment, it's just not based in fact. The market is out of whack and rents are based on the market, not what landlords really need to make a living. In fact many of the buildings in our part of town are owned by predatory equity firms who are just interested in maximizing rent rolls to increase the value of the property so they can flip it. But perhaps you know that already because you sound like you work for one of them.

Ben said...

If we cared about the homeless people who will be shopping at the 711 because it' is cheaper than the Bodega then that might be a more organic way of dealing with the problem. Bob Holman is a showman in activist costume. This is a decoy from the real war (Ukraine anyone?) He loves the globalist agenda. Don't believe the hype.