Sunday, February 17, 2013


By Greg

Over the years I've sent about a half dozen letters to the New York Times. They published one of them in 2003. Anyway, here's the latest one I sent that didn't make the cut, but I thought may still be of interest to somebody out there:

To the Editor:
The great Pennsylvania convenience store rivalry is real (“Fuel and Food Are Quick, but the Fealty Is Forever,” February 10, 2013), but Sheetz and Wawa used to be more distinct. While once Wawas could be found all over Center City Philadelphia, feeding a cosmopolitan crowd, Sheetz was always the roadside stop with a gas station. Today Wawa has shuttered many of its downtown stores, in favor of new, suburban-style locations. Many urbanites were heartbroken as each silhouetted goose went dark, and in 2009 a crew of steadfast hoagie lovers marched in the streets with protest signs before the closing of the Rittenhouse Square Wawa. Other convenience stores have filled in key downtown locations, and today, brands like Old Nelson supply us with higher quality sandwiches and better coffee. Still, it’s sad to see the diminishing urban presence of a brand so indelibly linked to Philly’s identity.
Gregory Heller

For what it's worth, I had a similar letter published in the Philadelphia Inquirer back in 2009 when Wawa closed its store at 20th and Locust.

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