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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Way for a Recharge ->


To say that electrical power is the backbone of modern industrial society is really an understatement. The world as we know it would grind to a halt without it. Our dependance on electricity only grows with technology leading the way.

As I write this, I am listening to a YouTube video with a musician playing electric guitar, delivered over the Internet on a laptop with a room illuminated by an electric light bulb. I am charging a number of portable electrical devices over the ConEd grid. Electrical power and devices permeate our world to such an extent that it is impossible to stand outside it and assess its importance. In New York, public transportation is critical and our subways also run electrically.

In the world of human interactions, we often speak using words like chemistry, with electricity as the ultimate metaphor to characterize positive current between people. The electricity generated by the friction of humans rubbing together is one of the biggest lures of New York City. Without the dynamism and synergy of its people, what do we have?

If you are seeking this type of energy, both literal and metaphorical, human and technological, perhaps no place in the United States better delivers the voltage then midtown Manhattan. This is the electrical generator that powers New York City and where most visitors first start to be properly charged.

One of most important things that electrical power has brought mankind is the ability to illuminate our world at night and make possible a 24-hour city. Koreatown is one of the best examples of this in the entire five boroughs. This neighborhood extends from 31st to 36th Streets between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenues with 32nd Street as its central artery. It's a 24 hour extravaganza.

Here you will find all things Korean - restaurants, tea shops, grocery stores, hair and nail salons, spas, karaoke clubs, internet cafes, banks and hotels. In the late 1970s, the redevelopment of West 32nd Street was led by Korean business owners - in 1995, Broadway between West 31st and 32nd was officially named Korea Way.

New York City is home to over 200,000 Korean-Americans - the second largest population outside Korea. Koreatown in Manhattan, is however, largely a commercial/business district with very few residents, although the residential population is growing (the largest Korean residential community is located in Flushing, Queens). K-Town Manhattan is attractive to the international business community and ideally suited to a growing number who want to live in Midtown. And those who just want to be energized know that it's this way for a recharge ->

4 comments:

Leslie said...

That part of town, and Times Sq. just freak me out...too Blade Runner-ish. waaaaay too much energy for me. Guess I'm a quiet downtown gal.

Nevertheless it is an interesting phenomenon when one culture takes over an area. And a lot of people are attracted to the 'electric' quality of these midtown areas. Guess they enjoy the buzzzzzzzz.

Brian Dubé said...

Leslie - it's interesting for those who are new to the city and have limited exposure to this level of urban intensity.

Knutsvik said...

I just came home after staying five nights at The Martinique on 32nd street, and I really loved the energy of Koreatown - and the barbeque at New Wonjo right down the street from our hotel.

Great pics!

Carlos Eduardo said...

The big picture is a backery where I had the best cheese cake of my life !