It seems as though residents of the Upper West Side of Manhattan have been hanging around Mayor Michael Bloomberg too long. A number of them are up in arms over the opening of a new café and “yumm shoppe” (their spellings) called Sugar and Plumm, Purveyors of Yumm.
One of the more vociferous opponents of the new business is 50-year-old David Schatsky, who told the New York Post, “I’ve talked to neighbors who are upset about the childhood obesity epidemic, and it’s at the crossroads of lots of schools—a lot of young people go by there.” According to the article, Schatsky has launched a website to provide a central outlet for those seeking to commiserate or air their grievances against the store.
If neighbors’ beef were over the ultra-silly name, one might muster at least a soupçon of sympathy. But to attack the business because its almond clusters or chocolate-covered marshmallows might entice unsuspecting schoolchildren? Someone has been reading too much Hansel and Gretel at bedtime!
Some residents, the Post notes, have defaced the store’s windows with stickers that criticize its sugary, high-calorie menu. Even David Schatsky recognizes acts of vandalism when he sees them and urges his fellow members of the neighborhood food patrol to desist. That he needs to take a pill himself is lost on Schatsky, an environmental consultant, who insists there is “something about the attitude of ownership that some people, including me, find offensive.”
That would be their messages on Twitter. One tweet reads, “Eat a square meal: a box of chocolates.” Another advises that “a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands,” while a third asks, “Have you tried our Waffle & Bacon Milkshake yet? It is heaven in a glass.”
A spokesman for the restaurant defends its offerings, underscoring that dining options include salads and other “healthful” items. He needn’t bother. It is the management’s right to sell what they want, just as it’s the right of residents to avoid frequenting the shop. For those like Cory Nangle, 41—who whines, “It’s inconvenient. This was the last way to get to my house without passing some sugar haven”—one might suggest she grow a pair. That or sprout wings.
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