Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Judyta Banach Activity#6

1. Dolores Hayden in her article “What would a non-sexist city be like?” talks about building a community that would be easily accessible for men and women. She argues that even thought more women started to work, they are still expected to do their job when it comes to family matters, and a lot of times their neighborhoods don’t provide them with good social services.

This activity allowed me to pay closer attention to what kind of services my neighborhood provides to working parents. People with out kids, like me, don’t really think about these issues until they become parents. Although there are really few social services in my community, I found some that are available for people that work late or for parents. One of them is a dental office, where I used to work. The last appointment that people can make is at 7:30 P.M. and most patients ask for that hour. Another place that I noticed where laundry centers. Most of them are open until 9pm and there is even one that is open 24 hours 7 days a week. Because most of the landlords don’t provide an apartment with a washing machine, Laundromats that are open late are very helpful for people with kids.


Most of the “male spaces” located in my neighborhood are not exactly only used my man, but one is able to see a male dominance in them. One place is a barber shop owned by a Russian man, where mostly older men get their hair cuts. It is located in the main street of my neighborhood which is Fresh Pond Rd. In my opinion it is a typical men place because barber shops are designed for them. There are few men that will go to a hair salon where women are gossiping. Another places that looked dominated my men were local bars. The one particular one is not only occupied by men, but also by men from the same country, which is Albania. This place is located on one of the side street, but very closely to main road, where the life is pumping day and night. The bar has been open for almost four years and every time I passed by it, I have never seen a women in there. These men also like to hang out outside of the bar and whistle at every girl passing by.
Locating “women spaces” was the easiest tusk because they are most visible. One of the obvious one is a nail salon, where I have been going for the past five or six years. As most of them, this one is also owned by very nice Chinese woman. Even thought men more and more go to have their nails done, this particular one have been occupied by women only. The only time I saw a man in there, was when the salon offered massages. Another place are hair salons that are located on the main street. Over a past few years the neighborhood became very much occupied by Polish people, and the hair salons are mostly owned by Polish women. An interesting thing that I observed is that these salons are always busy, while the ones owned by other nationalities not so much.

3. Some of the places that queer individuals claim in the city are parks, gay bars, and recently subways. Since gay are being accepted by more and more people, and since gay started to fight for their rights more, one is able to observe gay presence almost everywhere. I have lived in my neighborhood for the past eight years, and I have never seen gays or lesbians. The only place around my neighborhood, where I was able to see how queer individuals claim their spaces was the train. In my opinion they show the affection to one another in public spaces, to make other people understand that they are just like them, but with a different sex orientation.

4. An interesting factor that I saw on “the gay map of New York” is that most of the places available for gay are located in the city. In my opinion, the reason behind this is that people in the city are more open to seeing queer individuals, while those who live in the suburbs or in smaller communities tend to have more conservative point of view. Also there are a lot of tourists in Manhattan from all over the world, who are in New York temporarily and this makes it easier for gays and lesbians to show their affection to each other.
The places for gays and lesbians that the map had it, where bars, hotels, clubs and even cruise parties. On of the cruise parties is located near times Sq. and it holds private sex parties. The hotels that were on the map were mostly located very close to all the hung out areas. Most of those places are located on the west side where the city life is pumping day and night.

5. There are three major places around my neighborhood where I was able to see individuals engaging in private activities in public space. One of them is a sidewalk near subway station, where there is also a bus terminal. The bus drivers like to occupied the whole sidewalk, in the very busy part of the whole street. They usually just gossip or eat a quick lunch. In my opinion they hang out in there on their lunch brake because they like to observe the main street. Inside of the terminal there are benches put outside where only handful of people working for MTA enjoy their lunch sitting. Another place that opened not long ago is a Hookah Bar. It is a space occupied only by teenagers, but in my opinion it wasn’t only designed for them. That is one of few places in the neighborhood where teenagers are being able to meet together, and that is probably the reason why this place became “owned” by them. The third place is a park located near my house, which used by different people on different time of the day. The park is divided into three parts: a playground, a big soccer and baseball field, and a basketball court. Around noon while all the kids and teenagers are in school, there is a big crowd of mothers and nannies with toddlers. Later during the day the same playground is used by teenagers who make out, and engage in their own activities. After school the park is mostly occupied by teenagers, who play basketball or soccer.

1 comment:

  1. From Alina: I originally never considered a laundry mat to be a place designed for working parents but now I totally see how it applies. It usually moms/dads who do laundry...not the kids unless they are in their teenage years already. Working adults are not relieved of household responsibilities! Imagine in the laundry mat operated Mon-Fri from 9am - 5pm. Would people walk around with dirty clothing then?

    By the way, you mentioned nail salons and I have to say that I think it is wrong how men get charged more for their nails at some places. How can such direct age discrimination (it might literally say on a sign: manicure:$6, men manicure-$8) be allowed in the city? It should be against the law.