I’m standing at the intersection of 56th and Broadway in New York City. I’m well familiar with this intersection. Looking south on the east side of Broadway is where the original Broadway Dance Center used to be. I spent years traveling up from Washington, D.C., to take class from Savion Glover in Studio C before the building was demolished and and replaced by a skyscraper. The skyscraper is still there, Broadway Dance Center has moved 2 times since then.
Now the corners of the intersection are occupied by a Citibank, a Capital One Bank, and a Wells Fargo Bank. A gourmet franchise sandwich shop is on the fourth corner. It’s such a different image than the one that remains in my mind from years ago. That image of corner stores, local restaurants, and random souvenir and electronics shops.
Our built environment advocates for a particular kind of culture. As human beings part of us attempts to adapt to our surroundings. Looking at this intersection I can’t help but wonder about what this says about what we’re advocating for and who we’re becoming in this city.