Gilded Arches


Steve Forrest for The New York Times

My boyfriend tells this funny story about a road trip he took to Savannah with our friend S and S’s friend Neil (Neal?) who was visiting from London. They drove through Dublin, Georgia, on their way there.

I’ve got a lot of friends from Dublin, and I can tell you it’s a tiny town, something the two of them stressed to Neil (Neal?), who hadn’t yet encountered any small-scale Southern towns on his trip to the States. He nodded along.

As they sped down one of Dublin’s main roads, Neil (Neal?) bounced up from his seat, his head bumping the ceiling of the car, and went totally apeshit:

“YOU SAY THIS TOWN IS SMALL,” he roared, “BUT IT’S GOT TWO MCDONALD’S. TWO MCDONALD’S!! COR, ONE OF EM’S RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE OTHER ONE.”

“Dude, it’s a small town, even if—”

“BUT IT’S GOT TWO MCDONALD’S! AND YOU SAID IT WAS SMALL!!!”

I thought of that when I read about the redesigns that McDonald’s Europe is backing. B, your town has such hoity-toity McDonald’s! They’re even swankier than they were when I visited England 5 years ago and my father and I munched Quorn patties at one another at 2 AM in Manchester, surprised at how decent they were.

I’m of three minds about the changes. First—I don’t really care, because I don’t really eat at McDonald’s. I live in New York. Pizza, falafel, arepas, dosas, dumplings. Second—I guess it’s good for a brand synonymous with sub-quality service and aesthetics to upgrade. Third—But, but [insert standard misgivings and chest-beating about food chains]!!

Your thoughts, readers?

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3 Responses to Gilded Arches

  1. B says:

    They just redesigned the McDonald’s on my high road. It’s eerie and I don’t like it. While perhaps a strawberry milkshake may have once lured me in once before, now I fear to tread through the doors….

  2. N says:

    It is creepy. I like my Eero Saarinen and my foamingly chemical fast food to stay separate. This of course does not include McDonald’s ice cream, which is insanely delicious and inarguably artificial.

  3. Christina says:

    Even if they redesign any McDonald’s near me (which they won’t because my city whomps), I still wouldn’t eat there. I don’t even think I’d sit there just for the design upgrade, it’s just too weird, eating fast food (which I don’t) in a building designed like that.

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