Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square

Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square

Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square

Money Jungle: Imagining the New Times Square

Synopsis

"With an eye for offbeat, telling details and a perspective that is at once sympathetic and critical, Chesluk documents how redevelopment has tried, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to reshape the people and places of Times Square. The result is a colorful and engaging portrait, illustrated by photographs by long-time local photographer Maggie Hopp, of the street life, politics, economics, and cultural forces that mold America's urban centers."

Excerpt

In the late nineteenth century, real estate speculators and theater entrepreneurs remade what was then Longacre Square, an unfashionably rough area of tenements, bars, brothels, factories, and slaughterhouses, into a glamorous center for upscale nightlife and mass spectacle. Since then, Times Square has been, and still is, many things. It has been a center for all kinds of performance, including music, theater, movies, vaudeville, and burlesque. It has been a district of boarding houses and residential hotels, some cheap and some expensive. It has been an intersection for pedestrians, subways, and automobiles. It has been a place where millions gather to celebrate the New Year and to revel in the idea that their images are being broadcast via television to hundreds of millions more people around the world. It has been a center for commercialized sex, including prostitution, sex shops, pornographic movies, and strip shows. It has been an office district, with a growing population of law firms and multinational media corporations. It has been a tourist center, both lowbrow and upscale, filled with cheap camera shops and seedy entertainments as well as global theme restaurants . . .

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