Brian’s Final Thoughts

As I wrapped up my project this morning, I was simultaneously excited and slightly upset.  I was excited for the journey to be over (for both this class and for my time at the New School) and also to see everyone else’s projects.   I’ve been exploring through the class’s maps over the last few days and I think it’s absolutely fascinating to see how everyone’s utilized the platform to varying degrees and how they’ve structured projects in differing ways.  I am upset, however, in knowing that since this is my last semester, I will forever be unsatisfied with my final product.  I hit the points I intended to make, I mapped the theaters I intended to map, but I fear there will be this certain je ne sais quoi that makes me think that I could have done more.  What that more is, I don’t know for sure.

There are some things I know I’d do differently, though.  For one, I realized the power of genre over space, and people, a little too late in the game.  I originally set out to only dive deep into grindhouse cinema as a fun side-argument for my map.  In that process I discovered a certain profundity of a genre over the space in which it’s exhibited and on the people who experience it.  If I could do this all again, or if I had another two weeks, I’d love to explore how vaudeville and burlesque attracted and captured audiences and what it meant for the four walls that housed them.  I also believe I spent too much time at the beginning hunting down media to enrich my map with, rather than organically seeking it out as I crafted my arguments.   As a result, I had to tone down my final product with far less photos than I originally intended as they would have distracted the reader rather than enhance the narrative.  Unfortunately, these are the laments of a soon to be graduate, and I don’t want this to be a pity party!

I do believe, though, I was able to reach a conclusion that changed MY opinion on 42nd Street and Times Square.  As much as the slow tourists and expensive restaurants bother me, I’ve realized that rather than a redevelopment, Times Square has gone through a reDELIVERY.  42nd Street wasn’t turned into something NEW, it was simply given back to the people of the area and it’s once again a place where all walks of life can find entertainment… the bright lights, big names, and huge brands are nothing new, they’re as old school as it gets.

This project has been a lot of fun.  It’s really made me scratch my head and figure out how to make a map of static objects entertaining and interesting.  I’ve learned that the points on a map don’t need to move to tell a compelling story, instead, the blanks just need to be filled-in.


And on that cheesy last sentence, I bid you all adieu.  Thank you everyone for an awesome semester!

1 Comment

  • Wonderful, Brian. I know it’s a bit frustrating to experience an epiphany — to land on a research or design strategy that would’ve dramatically transformed your project — rather late in the semester. But we can’t dictate when these realizations happen! The fact that you recognize what you would’ve done differently, had you had more time, is enough! You’ve certainly done a fabulous job in the time you had!

    It’s been a pleasure.