By Sarah Bennett
Shake your fist with me!

Shake your fist with me!

There's a rising anti-7-Eleven sentiment in New York City, especially as the chain builds its latest franchise on Avenue A in the East Village. Most of those protesting the store cite the damage it will cause to mom and pop bodegas and a general distrust for large corporations. As someone who now lives above a 7-Eleven, however, I care less about keeping local businesses afloat and more about keeping my block from looking like the Fresh Kills landfill. 7-Eleven, like most fast food entities, is big on packaging—a special triangular box for their drywall-esque pizza, the elongated ring box that houses their hotdogs (the most dubious tubular meat on the market, which says a lot)—but unlike most fast food joints, 7-Eleven offers no seating and assumes your food is to-go. The problem is, if you're desperate enough to eat a meal from 7-Eleven, you're probably pretty hungry, so you're stuffing face while at the register and left with an empty container as you walk out the door.

Since this isn't the suburbs, where 7-Elevens have parking lots filled with trash cans and cars, a.k.a. personal motorized trash cans, those wrappers and containers end up on the sidewalk directly outside of the 7-Eleven, to be cleaned up whenever the overworked minimum wage worker can get a second away from the counter and meat rotator, which is to say, never. As any child of the suburbs or just casual Eric Bogosian fan can tell you (he wrote SubUrbia, ask your wacky aunt), the parking lot has always been the defacto-dining area/lounge for 7-Eleven, or any convenience store; two of my friends in high school spent so much time skulking outside of the local Store 24 that they got threatening letters from the chain's cooperate branch. Unfortunately, in New York, the sidewalk becomes the parking lot, and seeing as it's already an unofficial pedestrian freeway, the end result is garbagey chaos.

So, if you too dislike wading through garbage and trying to yank your dog away from trying to eat another snack of grease-soaked mystery wrapping, stop 7-Eleven. Your local deli might be more expensive, but they are far less disgusting, and they won't make your block disgusting, either.