Now and Then

Not only has it been great learning about all of the different types of music halls and venues in and around New York City but, it has been extremely fascinating to see how building which remain in the same place have changed over time.

Irving Plaza (early 1900’s)




















Irving Plaza 2011


While the landscape may remain the same, the main argument or point of my project is to show endurance and change over time. After my petcha kucha presentation I found myself concerned about how exactly I was going to organize my material to best represent this idea. My feedback from our judges suggested that perhaps I focus on particular genres and track their progression over time.

In doing some research on the history of music in New York City I have found that it is true, in fact, that certain genres of music have defined neighborhoods over time. I learned that in the 1940’s Greenwich Village was the mecca of folk music and activism. There were a lot of young people gathering around and over time artists like Bob Dylan were often found playing their tunes in that part of town ( You can read more about the history of Greenwich at the Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation.

In another instance however, it seems that Hip Hop evolved uniquely in each borough. Between the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan different types of hip hop emerged, yet all categorized under that particular heading.

Having learned a little bit about the roots of music genres and their respective growth in terms of neighborhoods in NYC I am leaning towards a final approach for how I will input my data into URT (ie. how my information will be categorized). If I choose 2-3 genres and input the music venues that exist and have existed in the past with a focus on where they are located it will be easy to recognize patterns in their development over time. I think this type of specificity will help to solidify and clearly articulate my argument.

Now the problem becomes which genres do I choose and whether or not to allow my research to cover New York City (including all 5 boroughs) or to choose a borough and look at the genres within that borough?

As I conclude my spread sheet full of venue/genre specific information I think these questions will answer themselves.





One comment

  1. Thanks! We addressed a few of these issues in our in-person conversation, but I want to repeat some of our discussion here, since many of your fellow researchers seem to be grappling with similar “delimitation” issues. In some cases, taking a macro-scale look at your data set will help you to identify patterns or “clusters,” or pick out particularly rich or interesting segments, that you can then focus your attention on for your final map. In other cases, though, you need to simply impose some boundaries on yourself — set a deadline by which you need to stop collecting new material, and decide which particular sites or cases from within your data set you plan to flesh out on your map. Some great data will inevitably excluded from your final arguments — but you can still plot this data without fleshing out its role within your core argument, and you can call attention to this “orphan” data in a final process blog, where you might also suggest how future researchers could make use of the data you’ve plotted but couldn’t fully exploit.

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