Monday, March 22, 2010

Teresa Mira: Activity # 6: sexualized/gendered/queer spaces

1. “A ‘good’ neighborhood is usually defined in terms of conventional shopping, schools, and perhaps public transit, rather than additional social services for the working parent, such as daycare of evening clinics” (Hayden, 145) In my neighborhood there are various day care centers for working families to use. Not only are there day cares for children, but my personal favorite, dog day care centers like Wiggly Pups, for working dog owners open from 7am to 10pm. Of course, the children day care centers out number such dog day cares. There are a number of 24 hour establishments in the area that allow for someone with any schedule to go, including CVS and Lyric Diner. There is also a 24 hour parking garage that may be used by people who may drive outside of the city for work.

2. Some spaces the city can be defined as a “male” space being a space predominantly attracting men and a “female” space a space predominantly attracting women. Examples of these can be salons or sport’s bars really any place that attracts a majority of one sex over the other. Some examples in my neighbor hood are a few bars that scatter the area seem to be male spaces though others aren’t. Those that seem to be male are the darker and less visually attractive ones. Whether the physical appearance actually is the reason or not, it seems to be the only differentiating factor to this. Some female spaces are two salons next to each other on 23rd street. Another down the street however is not. This may just be a mystery in that there isn’t really any obvious reason for this. Some spaces just end up male and others female.

3. “There is no queer space; there are only spaces used by queers or put to queer use.” (Chauncey) Claiming space for oneself is a fairly common practice whether we notice it or not. People claim space on the subway and trains by putting bags down or taking up space or when teenagers take claim space just by being in that space. Similarly, queer/gay individuals claim space for themselves. Of course, there the obvious queer/gay spaces like gay bars and other such gathering places. They also claim places in parks and even along a street or few blocks even. Comfort and safety seem to be the main reasons for choosing spaces in the city. The aspect of safety was of course very important coming from a past where there had existed “formal anti-gay regulations” (Chauncey).

4. What happens when you search “gay map of new york”? Well apparently, it depends on the search engine what the top result is. Though they all generally contain similar results, websites that list gay bars and clubs and other gay-friendly establishments such as hotels, shops and any other business anyone would want to visit.

5. People engage in “private” activities in public fairly often, be it displays of affection or illegal activities. One place people do such things is along the river. Usually the people here are young adults, who are around high school and college age. They are usually there participating in various activities, because they don’t have anywhere else to go. It is also out of the way and feels as if it can be a little more private than in the open of a street or park. Although often spots in parks are used in similar ways.

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