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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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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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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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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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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