Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany

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Synopsis

If one street in America can claim to be the most infamous, it is surely 42nd Street. Between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, 42nd Street was once known for its peep shows, street corner hustlers and movie houses. Over the last two decades the notion of safety from safe sex and safe neighborhoods, to safe cities and safe relationships-has overcome 42nd Street, giving rise to a Disney store, a children's theater, and large, neon-lit cafes. 42nd Street has, in effect, become a family tourist attraction for visitors from Berlin, Tokyo, Westchester, and New Jersey's suburbs.Samuel R. Delany sees a disappearance not only of the old Times Square, but of the complex social relationships that developed there: the points of contact between people of different classes and races in a public space. In Times Square Red, Times Square Blue Delany tackles the question of why public restrooms, peepshows, and tree filled parks are necessary to a city's physical and psychological landscape. He argues that starting in 1985, New York City criminalized peep shows and sex movie houses to clear the way for the rebuilding of Times Square. Delany's critique reveals how Times Square is being "renovated" behind the scrim of public safety while the stage is occupied by gentrification.Times Square Red, Times Square Blue paints a portrait of a society dismantling the institutions that promote communication between classes, and disguising its fears of cross class contact as "family values." Unless we overcome our fears and claim our "community of contact," it is a picture that will be replayed in cities across America.

 

About Samuel R. Delany

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Samuel R. Delany's many prizes include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to gay and lesbian literature. Wesleyan has published both his fiction and nonfiction, including Atlantis: three tales (1995), Silent Interviews: On Language, Race, Sex, Science Fiction, and Some Comics (1994), and Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts & the Politics of the Paraliterary. The press has also reissued his classic science fiction and fantasy novels Dhalgren (1996), Trouble on Triton (1996, originally published as Triton), The Einstein Intersection (1998) and the four-volume Return to Neveryeon series.
 
Published April 1, 1999 by NYU Press. 221 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Times Square Red, Times Square Blue

Publishers Weekly

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In a provocative and persuasively argued cri de coeur against New York City's gentrification and the redevelopment of Times Square in the name of family values and safety, acclaimed science fictio

Mar 29 1999 | Read Full Review of Times Square Red, Times Squar...

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