The city's many McDonald's franchises have been hotbeds for violence in the past, but there's a different kind of extreme behavior happening at one Manhattan location. The Times takes a look at what is arguably the saddest McDonald's on the planet, an 8th Avenue location that's known for drug dealing, passed out addicts and the occasional spat of violence. The 34th Street restaurant is only a few blocks away from a clinic that dispenses methadone, the substance used to treat heroin addiction.
From the Times:
Many of the patrons run a circuit, from the methadone clinic to the front of the needle exchange and then down to the restaurant for a few hours to come down after the methadone, hang out with friends and maybe hustle some business. Those who still get high run a different circuit: Sometimes they will buy drugs in the bathroom and use them right away in a stall. Sometimes they will buy in the McDonald's but then walk around the corner to shoot up at the Wendy's, where three individual bathrooms upstairs each lock, offering more privacy than the McDonald's restrooms. But then they come back.
Regulars at the restaurant also routinely sell items besides drugs, like lotions and loose cigarettes. For the most part, it seems like the interactions are passive, though the Times notes that one customer is "always looking for a fight," especially after the security guard—who was stabbed on the job four years ago—leaves at 2 p.m. "Every day, I go through hell," the guard said. Join him here.