Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Update on the Dispute about Elders "Overstaying" Their Welcome at McDonald's in Queens
Last week I wrote about a dispute involving a gathering spot for elderly Koreans at a McDonald's restaurant in Flushing, New York. The owners were trying to eject the seniors, arguing that they weren't ordering food and had turned the seating into a defacto senior center that wasn't pleasing to other patrons. In response, supporters of the seniors were calling for a boycott.
On Sunday, communities leaders announced a settlement of the dispute, with the owner agreeing the seniors can stay as long they want, except from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Stacy Torres, a PhD student at NYU, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on the controversy, arguing we should encourage public-private partnerships that benefit older adults and businesses. She concludes: "Battles over public spaces are as old as the city itself, but we have an opportunity to reimagine overlooked resources like McDonald's as new generations of older people find themselves needing places to hang out."