New York City is not all city considering Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx aren’t filled with the skyscrapers and busy streets. Some New Yorkers choose to live the luxurious lifestyle the city part has to offer, while others choose to live less frivolously in the lesser known areas of New York where it is more residential. Each person has a collective experience when being in different parts of the city. Although Manhattan and the Bronx hold contrasting reputations, on Fulton street the juxtaposition of Dr.Jay’s and Banana Republic represent the unification of these contrasting elements.
Manhattan is the borough that is filled with the interpretation of a utopia. Whitehead would avouch the borough of being notorious by the media as he mentions “ The city has spent a considerable amount of time and money putting the brochure together, what with the movies, TV shows and songs”. With a cluster of tall buildings, bold bright lights filled with ads, many established name brand stores and famous restaurants altogether it’s no wonder Manhattan gets most of the attention. When thinking of Manhattan most people would think extravagant, stylish, and a place for opportunity. Mostly when people hear New York City they think of the borough Manhattan since it has more of the iconic landmarks that New York City is known for such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, and The Statue of Liberty just to name a few. The rest of the boroughs are not really looked at to be as special even though it is the five boroughs that make up the city as a whole.
However the Bronx would be the polar opposite of Manhattan. When thinking of the Bronx most people would think poor, ghetto, and dangerous. The Bronx is filled with many lesser known small business, smaller apartments and not as much opportunity that Manhattan has to offer. The Bronx is the recognized birthplace of hip hop and rap music which made the image of hood that The Bronx is mostly known for. In The Bronx you could most likely get away with crimes such as speeding, stealing and hopping the turnstile at the train station. While Manhattan is seen as a place of welcome , The Bronx is seen as you can’t mess with anyone there without getting mugged or shot. Also The Bronx is known as an impoverished, neglected, and otherwise disadvantaged residential area of a city, usually troubled by a disproportionately large amount of crime.
In the borough of Brooklyn there lies a location that brings a feeling of juxtaposition of two boroughs that would be considered polar opposites from one another. Right where Fulton Street and Lawrence Street is located we have two stores known as Dr.Jay’s and Banana Republic right next to each other. Banana Republic is a store that is mainly found the borough of Manhattan. While the store Dr.Jay’s would be mainly found in the borough of the Bronx. These stores serve as representations of these boroughs with their contrast in the looks of these stores, atmosphere, fashion and clientele.
Banana Republic has a gleaming presence with shiny windows and posters of gorgeous models. When entering the store the atmosphere is very welcoming with someone always greeting you at the door. The type of music that plays in this store is a mixture of indie, techno and pop songs. It’s easy to browse through all the clothing items since the store is very spacious. Everything is displayed with a great deal of neatness which give a professional feel. The store has its own established name brand clothing and does not sell other brands. The fashion has a sophisticated, elegant vibe to it with having dresses, blazers, pashmina scarves, cardigans and leather shoes. This vibe is incorporated for both men and women. The mannequins themselves have a spotlight that is shine down upon them to lure in the customers. The clientele that this store mainly attracts is mature, high-class shoppers who would pay a great deal of cash for a chic look. With this clientele, Banana Republic is very fitting in Manhattan with the frivolous spenders.
Dr.Jay’s has a more laid back presence with mostly hoodies and sneakers being displayed on the first floor. Dr.Jay’s is made up of two sub stores which is their men’s and women’s sections. When entering the store the atmosphere seems to be more cautious with security asking for your bag. Also their jewelry is locked in a glass container which has to be opened by an employee. The type of music that plays in this store is mainly hip-hop and rap. It’s really hard to browse through the clothing since each section of clothes is cluttered in. The store sells other name brands such as Jordan’s, Nikes, Adidas and Rocawear instead of having its own. The fashion is heavily influenced by the hip-hop and rap industry with items such as hoodies, snapbacks, baggy jeans, big gold chains and t-shirts with imagery. This imagery for men mostly consists of smoking marijuana, dollar signs and women being portrayed as sex symbols. The women’s section mainly consists of jeans that hugs tightly to the body to show their lady curves and tank tops that is really revealing. The clientele that this store mainly attracts is adolescence and young adults who wants to have a hood look which is portrayed as looking low class. With this clientele, Dr.Jay’s is very fitting in the Bronx since it is where hip-hop and rap originated from.
This location shows the diversity of what New York is known for by showing people in business suits going about their day with people dressed in hoodies and sneakers. McGrath expresses his character’s excitement for such a overlap by having him exclaim “There’s the interface!” when coming across a man wearing a yarmulke talking to two colored men. This excitement makes the character feel as though his exploration through the city is more fulfilling for having such an experience. In this location it would feel as though people with their own vision of New York intertwine and make a new vision that could expand both of their views on New York as a whole. Each individual who have visited New York City has their own experience of what New York is to them. New York City is the place to expands one vision on a diverse level.
Whitehead, Colson. “City Limits.” The Colossus of New York: A City in Thirteen Parts. New York: Random House, 2004. 1-12. Web.
McGrath, Charles. “A Literary Visitor Strolls in From the Airport.”
The New York Times, December 6, 2006. Web.