Architecture, Money, Gender —Midtown Manhattan

One more bit of ephemera from my walk last week down Lexington Avenue.  Ugly and drab, this long stretch of commercial real estate, but pretentious it’s not. What struck me, though, about the scene at street level, the closer you move into the E.40s was the strong womanly presence. Droves of women going to work, and all the shops devoted to the women and retail. It struck me that there was a heavy preponderance of women in comparison to men. This completes the little midtown Manhattan series: architecture, money, religion, and now gender, as the prism through which to see social relations and the place of religion in a secular, commercial society and culture. I think it’s not uninteresting to see how in midtown, “women” are framed through strong grid-like lines, abstract patterns, and glass reflections, an index to social relations in late capitalist culture. The same could be said about “religion” at St. Peter’s Church, also on Lexington Avenue about which I posted below. The entire apparatus and the contents that appear on it are carefully mediated.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Architecture, Money, Gender —Midtown Manhattan

  1. Shaul Magid says:

    Its all about women’s shoes.

    • zjb says:

      Haha! Actually, the shoes at midtown and Lexington are fairly workaday. The best shoes are further uptown and a block east, starting at Park Avenue in the E.80s. As a Westsider, I’m constantly amazed by the women’s shoes on the East Side.

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