Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
How awesome is it?
1 - not at all awesome → 5 - most awesome!
The intentional sanitization of city life, especially queer city life, as part of the gentrification of Times Square in 1990s.
Why You Should Read It
When people talk about gentrification as “cleaning up cities”, they talk about erasing cultures judged as unreputable; unclean. This shines a spotlight on the economically & racially diverse Times Square LGBT community that was destroyed in 1990s. It is a fascinating bit of a vanished intersection of queer, urban and racial history in America.
The first half is a memoir, the second is an essay on gentrification.
“Call-boy and call-girl networks, not to mention the various forms of phone sex, follow much more closely the 'networking' model. But what I see lurking behind the positive foregrounding of 'family values' (along with, in the name of such values, the violent suppression of urban social structures, economic, social, and sexual) is a wholly provincial and absolutely small-town terror of cross-class contact."
How accessible to a lay audience is it?
1 - grad school text → 5 - pop fiction
How left/socialist is it?
1 - 50 Shades of Gray → 5 - Das Kapital