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JC Penney: Ruiner of Neighborhoods?

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WWD weighed in on Cintra Wilson and JC Penneygate this morning, reviewing the story—Wilson trashes JC Penney and its XXL t-shirts, internet trashes Wilson—and wrapping up thus: "As for whether Penney’s will continue to advertise in the Times — that remains an open question." Meanwhile, over in the comments section of yesterday's post about the controversy, the conversation has taken a curious turn. Instead of borderline trolling (see any comment about chicken parm) or straight-up outrage, a debate has developed about what JC Penney means in the context of New York's continuing mallification. Writes one reader:

Maybe Wilson was reflecting the dismay many NYers feel at having our fair city, which used to be full of unique quirky one-of-a-kind businesses, turned over to big box retailers and strip mall staples. Sure, some tourists may find having JCP "familiar" and "comfortable" since they have the same shit at home, but is that what we who live here really want? The reason people come here is to find what they can't at home. Do we really need to cater to their Applebee's and Olive Garden sensibilities?
NY used to be known as the City that Never Sleeps, but we're quickly turning into the City that's Sensibly In Bed by 9. I can't be the only one who's sad at the notion.
Writes another, "I love how anyone who didn't enjoy Cintra's shitshow is assumed to be a fatty, but saying that Penney's 'doesn't belong' outside of goddamn PENN STATION makes me laugh my (rather cute size-6) ass off." When challenged ("34th Street may be a retail craphole, but it's OUR retail craphole, not Sheboygan's retail craphole"), she elaborates:
#22 hey it's my craphole too. I was born here! I never said I wanted to shop at JCP so I don't know what you're getting all worked up and nasty about. It's simply not out of place for a neighborhood that has a Conway, Payless, Old Navy, and countless crappy electronic stores. The 34th Street area is not exactly Madison Avenue.
The debate basically boils down to this: Is JC Penney ruining our craphole? Where do you stand? Us, we're mostly just relieved that everyone's stopped calling each other fat in the comments section.

· Cintra Wilson Probably Wishes She Never Laid Eyes on JC Penney [Racked]
· Don't Diss Penney's [WWD]