Book Report:

Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R Delany

  • How awesome is it?


    1 - not at all awesome → 5 - most awesome!

  • The Subject

    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.

  • Highlights

    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