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NEW YORK -- On paper, it seems like the perfect fit: the city that never sleeps and the top purveyor of 24-hour-a-day convenience.
In fact, when a 7-Eleven opened in Manhattan this summer for the first time in 23 years, New Yorkers happily queued up in long lines to purchase ice-cold Slurpees from the new store on a bustling corner of East 23rd Street, reported the Los Angeles Times .
But not all residents have welcomed the presence of the world’s largest convenience store chain with such delight. The third 7-Eleven in Manhattan is set to open in mid-November in an affluent, leafy neighborhood on the city’s Upper East Side, and the denizens are none too pleased, according to the report.
"This monstrosity, this carbuncle" is how one angry resident described the arrival in a flier posted last week on Curbed.com, a local real estate blog, reported the Los Angeles Times .
"This will destroy two of the most beautiful, tranquil blocks in the neighborhood, add to the already horrendous garbage, vermin and rodent problem with rowdiness, bringing beer drinkers, taxi’s on breaks and other undesirables," fumed the writer, who urged neighbors to complain to their elected officials, the Los Angeles Times reported.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris rejected the notion that the store on the corner of York Avenue and East 84th Street will bring down the neighborhood, according to the report.
"We really take exception -- we do not have rats in our stores," Chabris, who added that 7-Elevens now have daily fresh food deliveries and customize product offerings for each community, told the Los Angeles Times .
But for many Upper East Side residents, the issue is a larger one -- the creeping homogenization of a city that takes pride in its one-of-a-kind, homegrown shops. Increasingly, national stores such as Banana Republic, Starbucks, Whole Foods and Home Depot can be found throughout Manhattan.
Several residents balked at the notion of an all-night store that sells beer, fearing it will attract transients and cause litter, according to the report.
A fourth 7-Eleven is set to open up near Times Square by the end of the year, with several more Manhattan locations in the works for 2006.