In our January 9, 2014 issue, we ran an essay titled "Franchised Nostalgia, with a Side of Bacon," by Megan Bungeroth, arguing that the rise of chain restaurants in Manhattan isn't necessarily a bad thing. Below are some of the responses to that story.
"I came to NYC to escape the IHOPs of the world. Having lived in NYC for 30 years, the rise of the chain stores is forcing out small mom-and-pop stores. We don't want imitation maple syrup. What I do want is the small quirky diner, the Soup Nazi, not the ATM on every block and an Olive Garden. Why would someone come all the way to NYC to just be in the same place and have the same food as home. If you want that, then stay home in your small suburban cul-de-sac!!!" - online comment, TKW
"'We' do not do these stupid things, you do. There's no way I'd get anywhere near all this crap that we live here to escape from. You are not being 'ironic,' you are an ordinary, boring hick and don't deserve this city." - online comment, Grade A Fancy mag
"I liked your piece on the entry of big chains into Manhattan. I too grew up in a small town (in the Midwest) and I've gotten tired of hearing people hate on everything they knew from home, simply because it was from home and not from New York. I haven't made my way to IHOP (in fact I've never been to one) but if there's any city that needs feel-good joints, it's New York. Your article reminded me of another article I just read and really enjoyed called the Unexotic Underclass. It's about why technology is so focused on the New Yorks and LAs and forgets about the needs of everyone who doesn't live in a major city. I think 2014 is going to be a good year for 'unexotic' businesses and ideas. Bring on the pancakes!"
- letter, Evan Cohen
"This has been part of a huge problem with New York we have seen in the last 25+ years as the rents have constantly risen and many natives left due to those high rents, replaced with 'wannabes' in many cases with no appreciation of what made New York tick for years. Seeing IHOP or Dairy Queen in Manhattan is not a surprise (Friday's and Subway are not in that group because Friday's actually started as a singles bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan even if the original location on 63rd Street and 1st Avenue is no longer there and Subway was in Manhattan on the Upper East Side as early as 1977, LONG before that became the chain it is now). Seeing Applebees and other such places like it invade Manhattan really goes to show how many 'real' New Yorkers left in the past 25+ years because they could no longer afford to live there." - online comment, Hoops and Horses