Collage Project

Collage Project By Joseph Maugeri

I begun this project with the intent of taking nice looking photos while longboarding around the city. I decided against that idea. For a few reasons.

The main reason was because it was wet and dirty… I ended up being covered in mud, which was not fun at all. But then I got to thinking, there really isn’t a big message affiliated with taking nice pictures. It’s pretty bland and boring. That’s when I ended up at Rockefeller Center. I’ve never really been there before, except when I was little, so I decided to take a look around. When I got there (with the help of my phone), I noticed a lot of police present. I wasn’t entirely surprised and started snapping a few pictures of them.

I was–once again– pulling a ‘Walker Evans.’ It was hard to take pictures of police because they normally don’t want to be filmed. I figured I’d take the risk and do it anyway. It’s more fun that way. It’s also more interesting.

As I was taking the pictures, I started thinking of the significance. The police weren’t really doing much. Some were talking to tourists, laughing, having a good time. There were the serious cops, the cops that were right out of the academy, and none of them seemed busy. So why were they there? There are tourists, shoppers, natives New Yorkers,  and many more types of people. When there is a lot of people in a small space, violence tends to ensue. However when police are present, one of two things happen: one is that people feel safe, and the other thing is that people get scared. Safety is always a good thing. When there are police, the good people feel protected. At the same time when there is police, the bad people get scared. That’s why there aren’t many violent acts committed in Rockefeller Center. Now this theory is interesting(at least to me) but it doesn’t seem to apply in similar places.

When I got that idea, I skated down to Bryant Park. Bryant Park is similar to Rockefeller Center. It’s about the same size, there is an ice rink, there are a decent amount of people, and they even have a lit tree. But, there was little-to-no police presence. I saw one security guard. That’s it.

After Bryant Park, I went to Baruch. On the way to Baruch, I remembered that there is a Christmas tree in Madison Square Park too. So I stopped by to see it. Same deal as the other two places. Christmas tree, decent amount of people, plenty of things to do. But here, there were no security guards, cops, park workers, or any authority at all.

So why is there little or no police presence at Bryant Park and Madison Square Park, but Rockefeller Center is like NYPD headquarters? Can people really not contain themselves in Rockefeller Center but are perfectly fine at similar places? It doesn’t seem to make sense. The only aspect of Rockefeller Center that is different is that there is more tourism. Is that the only reason though? I just found it bizarre.

I did this project on Prezi because I never used it before and I wanted to learn. Ben said it would be good for this project and I’d have to agree with him. It’s pretty cool.

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One Response to Collage Project

  1. Professor Bernstein says:

    A good question: Do we need the police presence to make people behave themselves?

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