Monday, March 21, 2011
A friend saw this and I thought it was too cool not to point out. Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of New York City's famous grid plan! Perhaps no other document in NYC history has had such an effect on the city's growth and population.
And it does connect to my ads, at least the missed connection ads. And maybe the other ones too. Why? Well, the grid contributed to extremely rapid population movement north. The city was growing in population anyway, so there are more people, and they are more spread out, and therefore they are more disconnected from each other. It was this disconnect that helped the rise of personals.
As far as the missed connections go, well, so many of the ads refer to street corners like 8th Ave and 23rd St created by the grid. I think, for people actually reading the ads for entertainment, these precise locations would have made it easier to visualize the exact scenario of a chance encounter and that would make them more interesting. After all, when someone writes, I saw you on the corner of Ann St and Park Pl, that's hard to picture, because it's so friggin confusing in Lower Manhattan, and I'm down there all the time. But when someone writes, I saw you on the corner of 14th St and 6th Ave, well, that I can see perfectly. So, the grid provided orientation for these readers.
Also, as someone I met recently pointed out in a pretty great book, the newspaper columns that I write about so much mirrored the street layouts created by the grid, and I totally quoted a couple sentences from that discussion in my dissertation. Thanks, Dr. D!
On a totally unrelated note, I'm testing out a "related posts" widget. Right now it seems to be picking out all the same ads but supposedly it's supposed to improve as the widget somehow catalogs the blog? I dunno how these things work. Anyway, we'll see how that goes.
©2011 Pam Epstein