Looking for a free table. Some thoughts about territory and territorialization (II)

In the first part of this post, I described a territory being decomposed by the action of different groups that were acting there, creating temporal relationships among them and the space they were affected. In other words, I presented how some elements were territorializing (dominating and transforming) a specific place. 

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Baklavas in Mauerpark

Every time I am reading something, I cannot stop comparing my way of writing with other people’s work. But how I do that is paying special attention to the way how they are knitting their set of concepts. I always find interesting the fluency the rest of the word has for using theoretical notions. The confidence they have for naming things is something I won’t ever have.

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The free-WIFI experiment

Times Square is a fragile place. In 2016 a solitary homeless man was caught watching porn using the tablet of a free WIFI kiosk located around the Square. Immediately the news made a big echo of this issue tracing an imaginary relationship between this man and the recent past of the zone, the one before its renovation. A tourist interviewed by the New York Post was complaining about the situation saying that right now Times Square was much worse than in the ’70s because at least at that time the porn was indoors. 

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Four vignettes of horses in the Square

One hour before midnight, sometimes earlier, some carriages are going to Times Square for working there. This activity is still legal in New York City, despite a few attempts for banning it (Neuman, 2017Gould, 2018), and after 11:30 pm until three in the morning, it is allowed around the Square. During that period, the street traffic is considerably slower, and the night, plus the LED lights shining in the sky, are the best artificial scenario for a romantic view of skyscrapers, ads, stores, and tourists, riding a possible tired and stressed animal. 

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The chess player

I saw him was by casualty. He was reclining on one of the granite benches near the TKTS booths. It was Monday’s night at the beginning of September, and the Square was full of people, but next to him was a free spot. I went there and I sat at his side. I did not talk with him, and I am pretty sure that he was not aware of my presence. He was busy, looking around for something. His outfit was the first thing that caught my eye. He was wearing a bowler hat, a white t-shirt, an opened white-blue squared shirt, black pants, and impeccable white Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. A yellow bag on the ground, from M&M’s World, store located two blocks far from us, was completing the whole attire. 

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Expanding a corner in Times Square. First approach

Around seven and a half in the morning, a man dressed red is dragging a kind of metal rack with wheels around the northern part of Duffy Square. The rack contains twenty-two chairs and sixteen tables. All of them are metal painted red. He stops near the TKTS booths and starts to organize first the tables and then the chairs. Two chairs per table. It looks like he knows by heart the exact position where each table should go. Patiently, table by table, he organizes them into two imaginary beelines of four tables and eight chairs each. Then, a little bit more to the south, he repeats the same activity one more time. 

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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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