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How to use this blog

This is a short introductory (kind of) tutorial about how to navigate through this blog. Get yourself a route, exploring it in the way you want. However, there is a list at the bottom with all the tags and categories used here. You can either click on each/one-of them and follow a specific path, or going to the main page and selecting the posts in the order you prefer. But before of that, please take some minutes for completing this introduction. 

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Why Times Square?

Why Times Square? That is a ubiquitous question that people ask me every time I used to talk about the study object of this piece of research. Times Square now, the current version we have of this place, looks like a location where one cannot find anything serious for conducting an academic piece of research. It seems like an infertile field utterly dependent on external forces, but at the same time, an exhausted and packed and sealed one under the label of either gentrification-Disneyfication or the official one of revitalization. The usage of each one of those two terms depends on who is telling the story of this site. However, in both versions, Times Square appears like a finished object, a black boxed location without so much to offer.

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Diluting Citizenship. A first approach to the Smart City concept

The vignettes of the Coca-Cola 3D Billboard and the WIFI kiosks are sharing some common elements, besides the obvious point that they can be traced in the Times Square of my piece of research. Those elements can be gathered into a context of “experimentation in urban places.” (Gieryn, 2006Karvonen & van Heur, 2014Silver & Marvin, 2016) This particular conception of experimenting in either “cities” or “urban locations” is nowadays a global trend, presented sometimes in the shape of “smart city,” and that involves many different actors, conceptions, capitals, and processes. 

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Decomposing the front yard of a library. Some thoughts about territory and territorialization (I)

Many years ago, when I still lived in the metropolitan area of Medellin, I was a punk. As a member of that subculture, I used to go with my punk friends to punk places. One of those places was a library. Well, the outside patio of the library: a big brightly and made of cement area near cheap places for buying beer. Every weekend was the same. After nine pm we used to meet there until sunrise, more or less. Around us, other groups of punks were doing the same. Mostly, each subgroup formed by a local punk band and its close friends. From time to time people used to move from a group to another. In general terms, everyone knew to everyone, and despite some disputes and rivalries, the ambient there was quiet (under the standards of, more or less, seventy punks sharing a space.

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The Columbus Syndrome

…And an introduction to radical ethnography.

Why did I decide to do ethnography? Well, I decided to do ethnography because I consider that through an ethnographical work I can first, (1) follow the trajectories of the objects I am interested in, (2) using any kind of resources from any side, and (3) without a determined disciplinary, theoretical frame or preconception. Second, ethnography allows me to create and to represent better descriptions of those trajectories. Here, ethnography is not categorized as a tool from other disciplines, such as anthropology or sociology.

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Lights still on

It was almost midnight, and the air was unusually cold due to some sporadic showers during the night. I was seated on a concrete bench in front of an empty and under remodeling spot between Broadway Avenue and W. 47th Street. After midnight, when the area is less transited, a group of workers starts its shift that consists in adapting and restyling the bare commercial place for a new branch of Swarovski. During the day, the construction remains closed. However, at nights, and despite the work is carried out inside, one can see from the sidewalk the lights and sparks going out of the welding machine, as well as the men doing their handiwork. 

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