When non-natives think of New York, they think of bright lights, a big city, glitz, and glamour, and while all that may be true, New York is also the home to an astounding number of chain restaurants. Walk two blocks east, there’s a Starbucks, walk two blocks west, and (wait for it) there’s another one! Every neighborhood is seemingly littered with these establishments, and while we are not ones to bash corporate America, it’s fun to see someone who has lived in New York for some time poke a little bit of fun at it.

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British by birth yet New York-based (since 2007) graphic designer, James Campbell Taylor of PENNARELLO is playfully rebranding New York City neighborhoods and molding them into recognizable corporate chain logos. Titled “City in Chains”, a more generic picture of New York City is painted. Long gone is the posh ambiance and awe-inspiring skylines typically thought of when conjuring up images of the Meatpacking District. Instead, you’ll see it boringly branded in Helvetica a la American Apparel.

We’re not quite sure how Taylor decided on which neighborhoods to pair with which chain, but a few of them seem oh so right for each other. Here is our humorous take on things.

SEE ALSO The Disappearing Face of New York City Through Demise of Mom-and-Pop Shops

pennarello midtown

Take the first example: Midtown. Anyone who has ever been to Midtown knows how much dingier and grimier it is than blockbuster films make it out to be. Hence, pairing it with McDonald’s seems incredibly fitting.

pennarello meatpacking district

Both the Meatpacking District and American Apparel are overwhelmingly overplayed. Read: basic.

pennarello soho

Soho is like the neighborhood who everyone thinks is the place to go and everything will be overpriced and posh. However, upon showing up, you find out that every high schooler and their mom is there. Uniqlo is kind of like that, but we like the surprisingly affordable Uniqlo, so we won’t say anything more on that…

pennarello tribeca

We were kind of stuck on this one, but if there’s any way that we could compare TriBeCa with Rite Aid would be in that it’s “cool” and kind of alternative at best, but you know… Where do you find it?

pennarello les

LES tries to be cool and laid back like GAP, but when you show up you realize that everything (from your coffee to your clothes) costs $300 and at the end of the night, you are left with no money.

pennarello harlem

Harlem is like Staples in that you go and get what you need to get or see what you need to see and then you make sure that you ace that place, pronto.

pennarello greenwich village

You might as well call Greenwich Village “College Town”, because that’s exactly where huge New York City schools such as NYU and The New School have decided to camp out. Just picture a bunch of college students who always complain about how tired they are with their Venti-sized Starbucks drinks in hand waltzing through Union Square.

Pennarello financial district

Financial District. Bank of America. Finance. There you go.

Pennarello east village

East Village reminds us of CitiBank in that, well, it’s financially thriving but they’re all about being cute and riding around on bikes, too!


Pennarello Gramercy

Poor, Gramercy. You’ll go when you’re passing by, but let’s face it: It’s not your final destination. Think about it. Who says they’re craving [to go to] Subway? Questionable people, that’s who.

Pennarello Chelsea

Chelsea is super chic, posh and all about being “for the people”. Don’t you think Chase is kind of like that, too?

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Out of all the New York City Neighborhoods, which is your favorite?