Monday, March 15, 2010

Teresa Mira: Activity # 4: Scavenger Hunt Questions 10 & 11

Activity 4: Scavenger Hunt
10. Photograph two different street configurations in Manhattan.

Photo 1: Times Square
In Times Square, the city has newly decided to block off sections from cars driving to allow more space for pedestrians, mainly tourists. A large portion of the area where cars once drove was sanctioned off for this purpose, also making it exceedingly impossible for bikers to ride through the area without fearing for their safety. There are limited bike lanes as well.

Photo 2: Lexington Ave btw 60th and 59th Street
Bloomingdales on Lexington Ave between 60th and 59th Street is another tourist attraction in the city. This street is a one-way street with the sidewalk being the only place for pedestrians to walk. Also, with the street’s considerable less traffic, the bikers even without a bike lane have a safer means of travel.

11. Compare two streets in terms of these factors: the relationships of the buildings to each other, the buildings to the street, the pedestrian to the buildings

“No thought has gone into the relationships between things – the buildings to each other, the buildings to the street, the pedestrian to the buildings.” (Kunstler) This statement can be applied to many areas around the city especially 42nd Street around 7th Avenue. This street and for that matter the entire area surrounding it is like one giant advertisement for the various stores in the area, televisions shows, movies and various other products. The buildings themselves feel as if they are towering up and over to almost create a giant mall out of the surrounding streets. “The absence of trees planted along the sides of the street lends it a bleak, sun-blasted look, which the clutter of signs only aggravates.” (Kustler) The abundance of concrete and the size of the buildings here are so overwhelming to the pedestrian on the street. Though it is not perfect, Bleecker Street around MacDougal Street is a much nicer looking area. The buildings’ sizes are not as overwhelming to begin with. It feels much more homey especially with the trees planted up and down the sidewalks.

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