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Subway -- that ubiquitous purveyor of "eating fresh" -- has opened a franchise in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And the kids aren't happy about it.
Motherless Brooklyn has unleashed an anti-Subway open letter, aptly titled 'GET THE FUCK OUT,' which reads in part:
We would like you to leave our community. Multinational corporations that put profits before people while polluting the environment and our bodies are absolutely unwelcome hereâ€¦ Williamsburg is a unique neighborhood that embraces artisanship, diversity and individuality. Your new store adds nothing positive to our neighborhood and instead represents homogeny and banality, low wages and manufactured foods.
The diatribe continues by listing five reasons to boycott the supa-chain:
1. Subway is a massive corporation; 2. Subway has bad food; 3. Subway hates people; 4. Subway is boring; 5. There are inexpensive (and better) alternatives.
Though I'm all for corporate bashin' and backlashin' -- and I only eat at Subway when I'm seriously hurting for one of their delectable, but, yes, overprocessed "veggie patties" -- I feel compelled to add a bit of commentary about Williamsburg itself.
Okay, I confess -- I'm not a fan. It used to be diverse, individualistic, artist-friendly and all the rest. But I feel like in recent years it's devolved into an even more annoying version of the East Village's little frat-boy brother -- rich, loud, largely white and 20-something, and beer-obsessed.
Last year I lived in nearby Greenpoint, and though I saw lots of interesting-looking people on the subway every day, I was hard-pressed to find many that were doing interesting things (beyond getting wasted at one of Williamsburg's countless dive bars).
I don't mean to attack the neighborhood itself -- I have good friends who live there and love it. But their devotion mainly stems from the hood's convenient proximity to the city, cheaper-than-Manhattan rents, and, um, proliferation of decent bars.
Maybe I'm just pissed at Williamsburg's sad lack of movie theaters and decent parks (sorry, but McCaren doesn't count; it's the equivalent of a football field surrounded by gross grey concrete and construction). Or maybe I'm just cranky.
Regardless, I'll add my voice to the anti-corporate kids' in urging Subway to stay out of Williamsburg. The drunk hipsters already have at least one all-night bodega per block to satisfy their hangover-fueled munchies.
P.S. Thanks to my lovely friend and fellow Greenpoint-er Becca for sending the tip-off.
Laura Barcella is AlterNet's front page editor.