Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Judyta Banach Activity #1

The part of my first activity was to be a flaneur and to experience the life of the city. The site that I picked was Queens Center Mall located by Woodhaven Blvd in Queens. I have been in the mall couple of times before and I didn’t really like it because of the big crowds in there. The mall consists of three floors and it’s divided into old and new part. As a flanuer I decided to seat on the second floor of the old mall between H&M and Banana Republic stores.
Because I don’t like big crowds I picked Monday thinking that the mall would not be packed so much after the weekend. I was surprised. After sitting in one place for over an hour I saw many different people passing me by. There were a lot of mothers coming in with their children as well as older people not even walking into the stores just observing displays and other people. Because of the high school located near Queens Center, there were a lot of teenagers hanging out in the mall. They were the ones making a big chaos and confusion. Many of them pushed other people around without even saying “excuse me”. Most of the teenagers came in big groups, but there were also few in groups of two and they were usually girls. Very few of them bought anything and they mostly were heading to the cafeteria in the new mall, which was my next point of observation.
The reason why I choose my first location was that H&M tend to be less expensive than Banana Republic, and I was interested what kind of people would shop in both of them. What I saw was really surprising. Both stores carry very similar clothes but Banana Republic tends to have mostly professional work clothes, while H&M has more casual clothes. H&M was crowded and the line to the register in both levels of the store was very long. The clientele was mostly young people, but also mothers because of the kids section that the store has. People that walked into Banana Republic mostly left the store without buying anything. Also people that entered the store looked like they had more professional jobs because of the way they were dressed.
My next stop was the food court in the mall. In my opinion that is the place where one is able to observe people in different ages sitting in one place. As I mentioned before that was also the place where all the teenagers hang out. Most of the tables were taken by them, and once again there were the ones making a big noise. The court has a big selection of food stores like McDonalds, KFC, sushi bar, and majority of people tended to buy food from these places. Also the line in these particular places was longer and in my opinion there might be two reasons for that. One is that because the food is cheaper and made quicker, and the second one is because when people see a big line they tend to believe that the food might be fresh because the place looks busy.
Even thought I went to this mall couple of times before I never paid close attention to what was really going on around me. Although I didn’t really enjoy being in this crowded space, this activity gave me a chance to start observing the community around me.

1 comment:

  1. From Alina: I love how the line at places like KFC and Mcdonalds is usually longer than in others. As we have said in class, the city is very expensive and not everybody wants to spend a good amount of money on lunch everyday they come to work. It is also interesting to observe the crowd who go to these fast food joints versus the crowd at Cafe Metro for instance. You can see a class difference, most of the time.